A new study by the Taxpayers’ Union has rubbished a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which the Labour Party is investigating.
A discussion paper from Labour raised the possibility of a UBI, where every adult New Zealander would receive $11,000 a year ($211 a week) in exchange for scrapping many current welfare payments.
The paper says a universal income would help to remove the insecurity associated with low wages or insufficient welfare benefits, which bred “personal shame, stress, [and] mental health problems”.
The proposal is part of the party’s Future of Work Commission, a project to look at the impact of new technologies on careers and the workforce.
The Taxpayers’ Union has come out swinging at the idea, saying its study shows the introduction of a UBI would mean record-high tax rates, and potentially result in another recession.
Firstly, I still find it (a) amazing and (b) depressing that the ‘Taxpayers’ Union’ works as a propaganda tool. On the other hand, Labour’s ‘discussion’ (‘We’re looking to give you all free money! Oh, we haven’t figured out how to pay for it yet. This is just a discussion!’ ) seems like a PR stunt, so maybe the Taxpayers’ Union is what they deserve.
Secondly, I’m still having trouble imagining how a UBI would actually work. Comments on the previous posts were very informative, so please help me out some more. How would payments differ between:
- An unemployed 18 year old living with their parents
- An 18 year old living away from home studying at university
- A single parent with three children under five
- A parent with three children under five with a partner on a high income
- A person suffering from a serious chronic illness preventing them from working in perpetuity
Or do they all get the same amount?