(ed: of course a universal basic income is a great idea that progressive parties in new zealand should have as policy – what they argue for..
‘cos y’see i see one of the fundamental roles of government as providing dignity to all citizens..
and a universal basic income does just that..
and of course the economic imperatives for a u.b.i. are strong..
and are the same as those for raising minimum-wages – namely the economic boost such policy delivers..’cos not only would a u.b,i, deliver the dignity..
..it would also give the economy a serious shot in the arm..’cos in the main that money would churn straight back into the economy in the same week it is paid out..fed back into the tills of retailers/service-providers..
it’s really difficult to summon up a rational argument against a universal basic income..)
Universal basic income is according to its many and various supporters an idea whose time has come.
The deceptively simple notion of offering every citizen a regular payment without means testing or requiring them to work for it has backers as disparate as Mark Zuckerberg – Stephen Hawking – Caroline Lucas and Richard Branson.
Ed Miliband chose the concept to launch his ideas podcast Reasons to be Cheerful in the autumn.
But it is in Scotland that four councils face the task of turning basic income from a utopian fantasy to contemporary reality as they build the first pilot schemes in the UK – with the support of a £250,000 grant announced by the Scottish government last month and the explicit support of Nicola Sturgeon.
The concept of a universal basic income revolves around the idea of offering every individual – regardless of their existing benefit entitlement or earned income – a non-conditional flat-rate payment – with any income earned above that taxed progressively.
The intention is to replace the welfare safety net with a platform on which people can build their lives – whether they choose to earn – learn – care or set up a business.
The idea has its roots in 16th-century humanist philosophy.