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How Does the Youth UBI Affect Other Benefits?

Our current welfare system is confusing. So we aren’t surprised that people are confused about what would change under a Youth UBI. The good news is that things will get a lot simpler, and nobody will be worse off. Let’s look at the impacts on students, the unemployed, solo parents and disabled. 

Students

At the moment Student Allowances for those under 24 are a maximum of $177 per week. This would disappear and be replaced with the $200 per week, no questions asked. No eligibility criteria, and more money. Think of it as a Universal Student Allowance.

Accommodation Supplement and eligibility for student loans for fees and living costs will not change. So they could receive the UBI and draw down the student loan living allowance, which should be more than enough cover their living costs. Or they could work part time, and their UBI would be unaffected. It’s up to them – that is called freedom.

Unemployed

The maximum Jobseeker Allowance for people under 24 is also $177 per week. This would disappear and be replaced by the Youth UBI of $200 per week. Again, there is no eligibility criteria, and more money, so nobody is worse off. Again, Accommodation Supplement will not change.

The most important thing here is that they won’t lose the UBI if they work, so there is no downside from taking on short term or seasonal work. There is no stand down period before they get their benefit again either. Or they might want to volunteer or do an internship to pick up work experience. Think of it as a Universal Apprenticeship Scheme.

Most importantly as we noted yesterday there are 22,000 young people not in employment, education or training who are not currently getting a benefit. They are currently falling through the cracks and would benefit from a UBI.

Parents

Parents with kids under 3 have already benefited from our Thriving Families Package which gave them $200 per week, free full time high quality early childhood education, and then $72 extra through Working for Families.

If young parents have kids outside this age group they would simply receive their youth UBI. Along with any other benefits they are entitled to.

Disabled

The Supported Living Payment can be more than the Youth UBI, so the total amount received wouldn’t change. But many people on Supported Living Payments do work part time, and as with the other beneficiary groups they wouldn’t lose the UBI if they did so.

This really reinforces what a tangled mess our benefit system is. We wouldn’t get rid of benefits altogether, but things would be a lot simpler for most people, most would be better off, and nobody would be worse off.


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    • Michael Brennan
      commented 2017-07-23 17:39:01 +1200
      Guys while trying to promote the Party within the Mayfair Place Public space I have had many questions on when or how UBI will be paid? It is a 50/50 split to those who think it is a weekly benefit paid Weekly. However many think it should be paid Annually on submitting an Income tax return annually. This surprised me but the conviction that it is Annual comes from the fact that the proponents believe an injection of $ 10000 would greatly assist their children in establishing some form of Enterprise!!!!! WTF!!!!!
    • Oliver Krollmann
      followed this page 2017-07-23 17:04:40 +1200
    • Kevin FitzGerald
      commented 2017-07-23 07:29:50 +1200
      I’m with Shelley Gilman’s son re UBI. Employers will take advantage and drive down wages even further. Fiddling with benefits isn’t the solution. How about creating employment for all rather than rolling over for a new elite busy creating technologies which will put a whole group of other workers out of work because they have chosen not to devote their lives to making electronic gadgets. Making a society which actively excludes many from a decent lifestyle is hardly democratic. Surely the basic human right is not for income but work. Society is about participation and a sense of being valued. Being replaced by technology doesn’t do that. Government has ministries protecting the environment how about protection of meaningful work. Technologies that ease the burden are great. Ones that replace the people seem less useful. Electronic technology has become a sure fire system for the transfer of wealth into the hands of the super wealthy and they have us hooked. Full employment instantly makes UBI and benefits pretty much irrelevant. A decent job and a decent wage gets my vote every time.
    • Orania Savage
      commented 2017-07-22 16:10:59 +1200
      This policy announcement caught my attention.As traditional work disappears and is taken over by robots, we will have to change our attitude towards people who do not have paid work ,to allow them to be seen as valued members of society . The important role of mothering should be seen to be valued as well. As I read the policy a wage (benefit) will be paid to every person regardless, which would simplify the benefit system and free up more assets and staff to focus on areas of concern.
    • Keith Morris
      commented 2017-07-21 15:31:43 +1200
      @Shelley Gilman
      The TOP policy on Immigration (http://www.top.org.nz/top2) will help with ensuring there are plenty of work hours for your son.
      Current migration setting means that NZ is importing way too many low skilled workers.