Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Northwest Territories regularly has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world, and we are consistently amongst one of the highest government spending per capita in the world. No doubt, the first statistic is largely due to the fact that we have a small population and diamond mines, and the second fact is due to the difficulty of delivering services over such a vast territory. However, in this same time period, Madam Speaker, we have seen very little progress on many of our things. Our high school graduation rates and our housing inequality have all largely stayed the same or gotten worse.
I have multiple times made statements in this House about the importance of a guaranteed basic income as I believe this the path to addressing some of these systemic issues. However, I want to emphasize that this is not just a progressive issue. There are people on the left, certainly. Our Time Yellowknife has called for this; there are conservative senators; the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has endorsed this; the Liberal Party in their Caucus has made this a priority. I really believe there is political will across the political spectrum to look at this.
I want to emphasize that this is also about streamlining a number of programs. Right now, we have a wage top-up program, where, if you are earning minimum wage, you get topped up to $18 an hour, but if you actually did not apply for that and you apply for income assistance and say you had your childcare covered, you'd get topped up to $25 an hour because you are eligible, if you are working full-time on minimum wage, to get income assistance. Our income assistance is, in fact, also a wage subsidy program.
However, then, we have other programs coming in, such as DILIS (ph) from the federal government, disability supports, old age supplements, guaranteed income supplement for the elderly, the Canadian Child Benefit for parents with children, the working income tax benefit; we have the northern residents tax reduction; we also have things like the housing rent subsidy, CHAP funding, home heating subsidy for seniors.
I do not believe anyone is looking at how all of these programs interact and work together, especially once we get to the federal level. There seems to be some miscommunication. So often, the question is: how much does a guaranteed basic income cost? However, I don't believe we can answer that unless we do the work to figure out what is currently being spent across all departments and all levels of governments supporting our most vulnerable. I will have questions for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment if we can begin that work. Thank you, Madam Speaker.