Universal Basic Income

The Swiss are pretty smart

I didn’t think the?Swiss were quite this sensible. then again they do guard lots of wealthy people’s money and have a big standing army to prevent anyone invading.

Still,?it is a pretty overwhelming majority against the stupidity of a UBI.

Swiss voters rejected by a wide margin on Sunday a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for everyone living in the wealthy country after an uneasy debate about the future of work at a time of increasing automation.

Supporters had said introducing a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,563) per adult and 625 francs per child under 18 no matter how much they work would promote human dignity and public service.

Opponents, including the government, said it would cost too much and weaken the economy.

Provisional final results showed 76.9 percent of voters opposed the bold social experiment launched by Basel cafe owner Daniel Haeni and allies in a vote under the Swiss system of direct democracy.

Haeni acknowledged defeat but claimed a moral victory.

“As a businessman I am a realist and had reckoned with 15 percent support, now it looks like more than 20 percent or maybe even 25 percent. I find that fabulous and sensational,” he told SRF.

“When I see the media interest, from abroad as well, then I say we are setting a trend.”

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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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Hooton vs Salmond on UBI

Matthew Hooton and paid Labour shill Rob Salmond have been going hammer and tongs on the UBI proposal from Labour.

For those who weren’t aware of the discussion Labour put up a proposal, un-costed, with scant detail that the state pays everyone over 18 a universal basic income. The suggested amount is around $200.

There is no other detail about how such a massive welfare grant could be afforded and in?the?absence of any meaningful information from Labour, others including myself, have tried to work it all out.

That in turn has sent Rob Salmond, and from his reaction it shows it much to be his idea, into a mad frothing spin full of vitriol, spite and ad hominem attack against anyone who dares speak ill of the UBI.

Matthew has written a column at NBR and Rob Salmond has responded to that with another ad hominem attack against Hooton at Public Address. Salmond objects to every suggestion of David Farrar, Jim Rose and Matthew Hooton and basically calls them liars. He doesn’t, of course, put up any number at all.

Matthew Hooton’s response to that attack is brilliant, and exposes yet again the lack of intelligence from the sole defender of the UBI, Rob Salmond.

Just a few brief(ish) points.

1) For those with a subscription or working for someone who has one (and I think students at some universities), the actual column is here:http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/ubi-just-cynical-ploy-increase-welfare-and-tax-mh

2) The column makes clear at the outset this is an idea not policy. The word policy appears only once, and in the sentence: “It?s difficult to think of a policy proposal with more going for it.” I don’t know why Rob claims I said it was Labour Party policy. The column also makes clear I support a UBI in principle and I outline the key policy benefits, especially around EMTRs, administrative savings and reducing indignity for beneficiaries. I mention the huge amount of work that Lockwood Smith did in opposition in the 2000s trying to make something like a UBI work. (In fact, and I don’t mention this, I first encouraged him to do so when he became National revenue spokesman after the 2005 election). ?? Read more »

The problem with Robbo’s UBI

Danyl McLauchlan writes:

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?

By its very name “Universal” it means they all get the same. Good luck to Labour with selling that policy.

But the problems just get worse and worse. Having Gareth Morgan rant and rave all over Facebook doesn’t really help your cause.

Labour has massive problems with policy and they can lay them at the feet of Andrew Little. ? Read more »

Larry Williams on the UBI

Larry Williams rips into Labour over their insane UBI policy.

It didn’t take long for Labour’s “universal basic income” idea to be shot to pieces.

Mind you, on the day it was released it took me a couple of minutes to add the numbers up and it was obvious the UBI options were duds.

The Taxpayers Union hired an independent economist to look at the numbers and concluded that it would require a tax rate of over 50 per cent to pay for it.

The study also concluded it could push the New Zealand economy into recession.

Labour’s finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, quickly dismissed the Taxpayers Union findings saying, “We do not regard the Taxpayers’ Union as either credible or independent commentators on this matter or many others.”

Yes, of course you would Grant. The study makes the policy look stupid.

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Labour’s UBI is ‘barking mad’ says John Key

Hillary Clinton knows what John Key is talking about…Labour’s crazy, expensive, unworkable Universal Basic Income plan.

Saying all adult New Zealanders a “universal basic income” is a “barking mad” idea that would cost more than the country brings in from tax, Prime Minister John Key says.

A Labour conference on “the future of work” is underway in Auckland today. One idea that will be looked at is a limited trial of a “universal basic income-type” system in a town or region.

The co-leader of a global network promoting a universal basic income, British professor Guy Standing, will be a keynote speaker at the conference.

Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson has said Labour is considering a local version of a scheme developed by economist Gareth Morgan, who proposed paying every adult a basic income of $11,000 a year ($211 a week).

Such a system could replace all existing welfare benefits except for “supplementary transfers for disadvantaged groups”. ? 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 »

Labour plans to bribe you with your own money

It looks like Labour are planning on bribing you with your own money.

Simon Collins issues a press release on Labour’s behalf…oh wait, it’s a news story (complete with link to Labour party website).

All adult New Zealanders could be given a Government handout of at least $200 a week under a new policy being considered by the Labour Party.

The co-leader of a global network promoting a “universal basic income”, British professor Guy Standing, will be a keynote speaker at a Labour conference on “the future of work” in Auckland next week.

He said yesterday that a system “where every legal resident of New Zealand should be entitled to a modest monthly basic income” would reduce inequality and give some security to people who increasingly have to earn a living from insecure casual and short-term work.

And Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson said Labour was considering a local version of a scheme developed by economist Gareth Morgan, who proposed paying every adult a basic income of $11,000 a year ($211 a week).

“I’ve spoken to the Morgan Foundation about it. They are continuing to work on the idea,” Mr Robertson said.

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