Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Universal Basic Income And Covid19

I keep hearing rather unfortunate 'expert' comments in response to questions asked about Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a way of responding to the Covid19 economic contraction. These comments all relate to a 'straw man' concept of UBI that is obviously unaffordable and impractical. It is not possible to offer any kind of Universal Basic Income (as an unconditional payment to all adult taxresidents) at the level of New Zealand Superannuation.

What is both possible and necessary is to offer a basic universal income – initially set at $175 per week – in conjunction with a flat rate of income tax of 33 percent.

By doing what is possible and necessary, we provide bridging income guarantees to all New Zealanders who risk income losses, in in a way that requires no new bureaucratic input.

By doing this, all people with salaries or other earnings of more than $1,346 per week would receive exactly the same after tax as they do now. They already receive this benefit.

Further, all beneficiaries and superannuitants would continue to receive exactly the same as they already expect to receive after April 1. This $175 per week benefit is, in effect, the first part of their existing benefit.

Working people on incomes lower than $1,346 per week would receive more than they do now. All working people expecting to suffer a loss of income will be assured that they would continue to receive this $175 benefit as the market component their income falls.

If the $175 per week proves to be too low, then it can subsequently be adjusted upwards.

It's simple. Really simple. And necessary. It is a way to maintain a high productivity economy that experiences a loss of gross domestic product. It is an easy way of ensuring that everybody gets a slice of a shrinking economic pie.

To avoid confusion, let's call the $175 per week a Basic Universal Income (BUI).

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>