Criptic Critic Conscience and Known for it

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Post slave world offerred, what would the budgie do?

NZ's welfare system is broken & needs to be scrapped. The replacement is called a universal basic income. What would you do (or have done) differently if you had a UBI?

Yesterday we saw why our current benefit system is broken. Instead of our complex, bureaucratic welfare system that stigmatizes the worst off people in our society,...
  • Wells Tao

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  • Shane Pleasance Yeah, to hell with work and self respect. I'm in. I'm ok with enslaving everyone else. Who needs self esteem?
    • Gareth Morgan You need to read the article again. There are people identified in there who can't work, who work full time and can't get by, who are educating themselves and can't get a full income, people who do charity work who provide valuable services and get no money. I'm sure a lot of those people have self-respect and their contribution to society should be recognised.
      Unlike · 1 · 9 mins
    • Wells Tao

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  • Allan Mckie There would be a lot of free money sloshing about. Where does it all come from?
  • Philip Southwell With an unconditional basic income, most beneficiaries would be no better off than they are now. Well Gareth, those of us on Superannuation are now classed as beneficiaries. We can now get, through what YOU deem a broken system, assistance for dental work, glasses, accommodation etc. on top of our pensions. Under your " No better off system" we wouldn't get that so you can go take a flying leap or better still a flying motor bike ride!
    • Gareth Morgan Thanks for taking a big picture view and considering the lives of future generations... As mentioned above. Pensioners already get a UBI. Under our plan, they would worse off since the UBI is lower the current pension, and their capital is taxed. Because of this our policy would need to be phased in. For cash poor pensioners, their payments may be deferred and collected in an estate sale if they do not want to liquidate assets. Longer term, you have a lifetime of 11k per year to prepare for full retirement, as well as the 11k per year, when you retire. More details here -
    • Sherrill Baylis I'm 3 years away from getting the Super, in the mean time I receive the Supported Living Allowance. Ergo, I get less than a Superannuitant for the next 3 years. And every bit of WINZ assistance we receive from the Govt for specs & dental work, has to be paid back. It's blimming hard to pay back that assistance when you are already on a low income. I have 3 hidden disabilities, I don't smoke & neither do I consume alcoholic drinks.
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  • Maureen Sudlow and how would this affect pensioners... ?
    Like · Reply · 1 hr
    • Gareth Morgan Pensioners already get a UBI. Under our plan, they would worse off since the UBI is lower the current pension, and their capital is taxed. Because of this our policy would need to be phased in. For cash poor pensioners, their payments may be deferred and collected in an estate sale if they do not want to liquidate assets. Longer term, you have a lifetime of 11k per year to prepare for full retirement, as well as the 11k per year, when you retire. More details here -

      The Big Kahuna continues the current policy of...
      Like · 1 · 55 mins
    • Kevin J Hodges I wonder how many pensioners would vote for the plan to slash their income? Any guesses???
      Like · 1 · 39 mins
    • Maureen Sudlow I have to wonder how far 10k a year would go towards saving for your old age, because you certainly wouldn't be able to survive on it. How many of your wonderful policies take into account that most of us oldies have worked and payed all tax all our lives, and also filled hundreds of volunteer roles since...
    • Paul Hegglun Yeah and you oldies got a free education, free health care, functional welfare, and full employment. Paying for your super is going to mean that there probably won't be one for us and future generations or it will be quite reduced. I think if you look at the the tax take compared to the benefits your generation has enjoyed you will find that you and the governments of your time spent more than you paid in taxes. Not only did the governments which you elected borrow heavily they also privatised the assets that your parents and grand parents accumulated. Stop whining. I'm sick of it.
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  • Olwyn Stewart The UBI seems a bit like a post-industrial equivalent of subsistence farming. It may be the way we ultimately have to go. Some things are not addressed, like affordable housing, that would have to underpin it if it is to be meaningful, and whether top-ups might sometimes be needed where there is disability or a newborn child.
    Like · Reply · 1 hr
    • Gareth Morgan The implementation of a comprehensive capital income tax helps pay for the UBI and would help correct housing prices. Investment would move to more productive asset classes. Ideas around a youth and child UBI could be discussed, but no top ups which can be means tested. Simplicity is the key.
      Like · 2 · 1 hr
    • Olwyn Stewart Thanks for your reply
    • Olwyn Stewart The housing part is important. If you were not employed and your UBI ended up only paying half your rent, this would undermine the UBI's purpose. WFF + the accommodation supplement serve to push costs up while leaving many people more-or-less in the same place and you would surely want to avoid that pitfall. I take it you do want it to provide subsistence with improvements on that coming from work.
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  • Kate Davies Sounds like a great idea, I'd be interested to know how much it would cost. Obviously there would be huge savings on administration.
    Like · Reply · 1 hr
  • Ants Bull How much more tax would I have to pay to support it, and isn't it quite dangerous in that if there is no WINZ to monitor/restrict it, masses of people might just give up working and live off the UBI?
    Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr
  • Andrew Johnstone The UBI is the future. No more punitive welfare, instead freedom to choose. Especially good for artists, entrepreneurs, inventors and people with a penchant for community work and services. Also great for people with a passion for environmental work. The skies the limit.
    Like · Reply · 4 · 1 hr
  • Anneleise Hall The idea of a UBI has been around for a while, I'm not fully convinced of this particular model. I'd like to see it with some link to civic participation - an aspect of reciprocity to benefit public good and also there would need to be greater thought around people who "can't" work through illness or health issues. It is difficult to regain health when you are in constant survival mode. Also I think many pensioners struggle now, I think we need to put greater thought into how we support and care for our most vulnerable. I think we need to be having these conversations but I see this one as a starting point, not a completely viable solution in this form.
  • Ian Campbell Gareth, my "back of a napkin" calculations put the cost of your UBI at about $6bn *more* than the current govt spend on Social Security and Welfare ($27.3bn)
    Would you mind showing how your proposed taxes would cover the difference?
  • Shane Field I might reduce my work hours. If others do that too, there would be more work to go around.
  • Julia Irving Why are we not funding this?...
  • John Jackson I hate to say it but this is what Roger Douglas was advocating years ago.
  • David Blanchard Some of the European countries have the right idea. Make people work for their benefit and give them jobs like picking up rubbish on beaches or jobs like that. Something that will make them feel positive about doing a days work and the tax payers will.get something out of them being on benefit. We will have a clean country and people will have more self esteem. And if people refuse to do it cut the benefit for a week
  • Philip de Montalk I think it would be used as a mechanism to drive down salaries and wages for example, Employers would use it as a lever to 'adjust' salaries and wages.
  • Donna Phillips I find this a fascinating concept, certainly out of the box but a practical step which stops stereo typing and gives people a good chance to be successful in life. This policy alone could win you a lot of votes if you go into politics Gareth Morgan.
  • Jeannette Brock It would certainly be cheaper to pay mums or dad 250 aweek to stay home instead of the government payouts or daycare centres, maternity leave etc
  • Andy Bryenton A good start - but the unemployed need to be categorised separately from the disabled, mentally ill and from pensioners and students. Those folks need MORE help. And everyone needs affordable housing. Time to decentralise and get people out of the Great Termite Nest, aka Auckland.We need to tackle the issue of overpopulation in any case; a welfare system which rewards breeders is detrimental in the modern world. In fact, tax breaks for non-breeders are a great idea - we do not contribute to hospital and school costs, potential prison costs etc. The other big concern is that the flat benefit is a stalking horse for flat tax, which is clearly a tool of non-egalitarian division. At least, ina system where tax evasion is a big business, and creative accounbting ensures that one percenters pay less tax than their serfa (us) on a yearly basis. a FAIR flat tax, i.e. rigorously enforced, with white-collar dogers being thrown in the (non privatised) slammer might work. See also the electronic transaction tax.
    PS Gareth, stop hating on the kitties. Humans are worse. In an urban area, the environment is already basically FU'd. Reserve your ire for possums, and Whale Oil....
  • Jackie Andrews The only problem is the choices some make. Throwing money at the problem will not change it although I do think the uncomplaining malnourished elderly deserve more
    Like · Reply · 1 hr
  • Kevin J Hodges This will certainly deal with overcrowding in larger cities, for if a person in Tokoroa, renting a house at $140/wk and a person in Auckland renting at $420/wk are each on $11,000 a year, then I can see thinking people will move to where their $11,000 will give them the best lifestyle If they want to go broke in the big city, or live with plenty of spare cash in the regions, the choice is theirs
    Like · Reply · 1 · 37 mins
    • Yolande Jeffares People would need to be able to afford to move first ....on 11k a year there will be a lot of hungry and desperate people about.
    • Kevin J Hodges If it's costing hundred extra per week in one location, then I don't see anything standing in the way of spending a few hundred to move ... even if it costs $2,000 to move from Auckland to Tokoroa for example, that would be covered by a couple of months in savings ... then the rest is pure gain for the individual.
    • Wells Tao

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  • Kevin J Hodges Hey yeah ... What could be wrong with giving away free money ... I don't know anyone who would turn that down, apart from maybe those who have increased taxes to fund the whole scheme, but then they can just work longer hours and make more sacrifices
    Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr
  • Sherrill Baylis I agree. It is broken. As a Supported Living Beneficiary, I would love to run my ideas by Iain Lees-Galloway & see what he thinks.

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