Youth UBI FAQ

Youth UBI FAQ

1. Can anyone get it?

Answer

The only condition of eligibility is the same as the basic eligibility for any benefit:

You must also be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who normally lives here, and who has lived here for at least two years at one time since becoming a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

2. Who will benefit?

Answer

Anyone aged 18-23. Even those on benefits will have their lives improved; even if they aren’t getting more money from the government under our UBI alternative the big advantage is they do not lose the UBI when they move into paid employment. This offers them support and the chance to better themselves without trapping them on a targeted benefit.

Of course all those not currently receiving any benefit will also be better off. It is particularly worth noting that there are 20,000 people aged 18-23 who are not in education, employment or training and are not receiving a benefit.  

3. Do I still get it if I go overseas?

Answer

Short trips are fine (26 weeks or less), but moving overseas isn’t. 

8. What about the regions?

Answer

This will be good for the regions. It will bring money to the regions, help people stay where they want to live and allow them time to find a job or create a sustainable businesses.

4. Won’t young people stop working and blow the money on booze, drugs and surfing?

Answer

A few might, but generally not. When a UBI was trialled in the 1970s the only people that worked less as a result of receiving the money went into training or looked after their children instead. 

5. What happens to existing benefits and student allowances?

Answer

This UBI will replace Jobseeker Support, Student Allowance, and the first $10,000 of the Supported Living Payment and Sole Parent Support. All other benefits and top ups remain the same. 

6. Why don’t you subsidise training and University fees instead?

Answer

We don’t presume to know what is best for our young people and there are many traps with tertiary education nowadays. For starters, funding tertiary education is middle class welfare, as most of the people that go straight into University are the children of the well-off. Not funding those who choose another path is arbitrary discrimination. Several of the most successful tech entrepreneurs globally and in New Zealand for instance were University dropouts. University education is no longer a precursor for success in the modern economy. For some people formal training works, but that isn’t the case for everyone. Some people will want to set up their own business, others will want to learn from a mentor or on the job. Everyone should get the same support. 

7. Won’t employers just pay people less?

Answer

The minimum wage will stay in place. 18-23 year olds will be able to volunteer in certain roles to learn skills while still receiving the UBI, but they would only do so if they are getting something from it. The money goes to the person, not the business, so the person has the power.