Providing a nationwide safety net for low-income Canadians in the form of a guaranteed basic income would cost roughly $43 billion a year, a new report from Parliament’s fiscal watchdog suggests.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer published its estimate on Tuesday morning, outlining the financial impact of a basic income program modelled off of Ontario’s current pilot model.

The report was requested by Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre.

“The total annual estimated gross cost of the defined GBI (guaranteed basic income) would range between $76 billion and $79.5 billion for the period 2018-2023,” the report notes.

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