Labour’s plan for a UBI would require an extra $10bn in taxes

Labour is discussing a horrendously expensive Universal Basic Income, one which would be paid to every one…including multi-millionaires.

NBR discusses the UBI with economist Susan Guthrie:

A universal minimum income scheme to replace the welfare system would have to be preceded by tax reform and would also need to be phased in over a very long timeframe, economist Susan Guthrie says.

The Labour Party is looking at the concept, which it may adopt as one of its policy planks.

Co-author with Gareth Morgan of a book on the concept, The Big Kahuna, Ms Guthrie, who has previously worked at the Treasury and the Reserve Bank, says such a policy would also need broad agreement across the political spectrum.

?It?s a policy that has to be implemented over at least two decades,? Ms Guthrie says.

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Hit by the here and now

As discussion continue to swirl about the UBI, and Labour finds its next big idea knifed and destroyed through their lack of foresight, Vernon Small explains just how predictable it all was.

Pity is not an emotion you would normally spare for politicians.

But you had to feel sorry for Labour – and in particular?its finance spokesman?Grant Robertson – for the blitz of critical?publicity that greeted a single idea in?its “Future of Work”?conference.

It was set up to be a future-focused and broad-ranging look at the changing nature of work, the impact of technology?on the workplace and how we adjust the law?and the welfare system to cope while ensuring greater job security in uncertain times.

But instead the coverage was overwhelmingly focused on the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) including the affordability – or otherwise – of notional schemes proposed by others, or?constructed by opponents, and then shot down in a hail of spreadsheets.

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You want $200 a week or not?

ACT’s Free Press gets to the heart of Labour’s ludicrous bribe

Do you Want $200 or Not?
Labour won the 1957 election with the promise of a hand out.? The newspaper headlines asked ?Do you want ?100 or not?? Now the promise is adjusted for inflation at $200 every week.

Money for Nothing
As the respected welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell points out, the Government is trying to replace cash benefits with income management and manage people on benefits into work.? Labour?s idea is to put every adult New Zealander on an unconditional cash unemployment benefit.

The Easy Part is Giving it Away
Free Press?asked Sir Roger Douglas about Labour?s new idea.? ?The easy part is giving it away,? he said, ?The hard part is paying for it.?? Sir Roger was handy with back of envelope calculations, here are a few from?Free Press. Read more »

Lindsay Mitchell on the UBI

Lindsay Mitchell is aghast;?she calls Labour’s idea “profoundly stupid”:

Giving every teenager $200 a week when they turn 18 is a profoundly stupid idea.

The most meaningful reform National has made is scrapping the old cash benefit available to youth and young parents. Instead their income from the state is managed and there are tight strings attached. They get a tiny sum of cash and can only increase it by meeting certain challenges. They are heavily mentored, parented in a way they have probably never been before. The idea is to get educational qualifications, work skills and self esteem into them before it is too late.

An unconditional $200 a week would reverse this whole approach. It would be madness.

It would replicate the mindset of generational dependency seen in families that encourage – even expect – their kids to go on the dole or DPB as soon as possible to boost the family’s income.

Its a truly frightening prospect.

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Hehir on the UBI proposal

Liam Hehir at the Manawatu Standard lets rip at Labour over their daft UBI proposal.

If you have paid more than five minutes attention to public discourse, you know that proclaiming a?desire to “have a debate” about some radical proposal is really code for actually being in favour of the?thing to be debated.

The same thing goes for wanting “to start a discussion” or to “have a national?conversation” about something you know will be contentious. Framing things this way is usually a?hedge against the potential for backlash if your idea proves a bit too controversial.

So now that Andrew Little has said Labour is “keen” to have a “debate” on whether New Zealand?should adopt a Universal Basic Income, you might infer this means that a UBI is something he would?like to see happen. And the chances are you’re probably right.

Under a UBI, every New Zealander would receive a benefit. Everybody would get the same amount,?regardless of their employment status, wealth or needs. There would be no strings attached and so?every person would be guaranteed the bare necessities of existence without the need for work?(though if mere existence were not enough, you would certainly be free to pursue employment).

Needless to say, such a system would be a pretty radical reform. It is, at the end of the day, a?universal dole ? a payment for simply being alive. You can see why Little was being guarded.

After all, who but a communist could propose such a thing?

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Larry laughs loudly at ?Lefty Lunacy!?

Larry Williams laughs loudly at the lunacy of the Labour party and their open musing about a multi-billion dollar bribe to?the?electorate.

Labour is looking at a scheme that looks close to lunacy – a “universal basic income”.

Every legal resident in New Zealand would be entitled to a basic monthly income – $200 a week or $11,000 a year.

The money has to come from somewhere so it’s the “rich pricks” who already pay the vast bulk of tax that will get hit again. It’s also likely middle New Zealand will also pay higher taxes.

The plan is inherent on an increase in tax.

No surprise that the socialist Green Party is on the same page as Labour. ? Read more »