I would like to see a UBI implemented in New Zealand

I would like to see a UBI implemented in New Zealand

I think the time is right for a UBI. A UBI provides a safety net for the less well off and recognises the contribution unpaid workers (parents, caregivers etc) make. And work is changing  - we had better get used to the idea that manual labour will be done by machines.  

Showing 59 reactions

How would you tag this suggestion?

Sign in with

Or sign in with email

    Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
    • duncan cairncross
      commented 2016-12-20 21:47:33 +1300
      I agree this should be part of the core top 7 package
    • Geoffrey Roberts
      commented 2016-12-20 21:08:17 +1300
      Richard, Thanks for the response but I need to see the end game.

      Gareth, if you or another spokesperson for the party are reading this, could I request some clarification here? It seems to me that if some kind of UBI is not a TOP 7 policy, then if you decide to contest the election and if you get in and negotiate policy concessions you presumably won’t have a mandate for pushing for even a limited trial of a UBI.

      Is there some other way you are thinking this might be included or stated? If a UBI is part of the TOP destination, then I’d like to see it mentioned on the journey.
    • Richard Wyles
      commented 2016-12-19 17:37:21 +1300
      Geoffrey, I think the tax reform policy is step one of the “staged introduction”. TOP has communicated that this isn’t a tax increase overall, it’s a tax switch. Which means the money will come back off income tax and undoubtedly at the lower end. It’s not hard to foresee that switching across to a UBI at some point. Probably another first stage building block will be welfare reform.
    • Geoffrey Roberts
      commented 2016-12-19 17:22:02 +1300
      I have to say I’m a little disappointed not to see this as explicitly one of the top 7. I’m still interested in what is to come around Education and Health but this was the big one I was looking for in TOP. I almost joined the Democrats for Social Credit as the only party with this as explicit policy! I could go on forever about why it’s great but you can find that out in loads of places. If this is not to be a TOP 7 platform then I want to see a way forward to it. Progress towards this end is long overdue in advanced capitalist societies. It needs to be planned for and a staged introduction begun asap.
    • Geoffrey Roberts
      tagged this with essential 2016-12-19 17:22:02 +1300
    • duncan cairncross
      commented 2016-12-16 14:25:44 +1300
      I agree with James -
    • James Maclaurin
      commented 2016-12-16 13:52:01 +1300
      Tim – Yes, you got me. My suggestion isn’t tax neutral, but it is fiscally neutral. I can see the arguments in favour of the current policy, but it still seems that the policy would have greater effect, particularly on poverty, if the money collected by the property tax was disbursed as some sort of (admittedly very limited) universal income, rather than as tax cuts. I’ll happily retract this suggestion if one of the yet to be released policies tackles poverty head on – particularly addressing the poverty trap inherent in the current system of means-tested benefits.
    • Tim O’Donnell
      commented 2016-12-15 22:14:46 +1300
      James, TOP’s first policy was made to create a zero nett difference to the tax intake. So where are you going to get the money to pay for this UBI?
    • James Maclaurin
      commented 2016-12-12 11:04:19 +1300
      I agree that we need a redesign of the tax system to make a UBI work, but that is now on the table with TOP’s first policy announcement. So my question is, why don’t we redistribute the proceeds of the new property tax via a Universal Suplemental Income. Yes, it would be small at first (hence the “Seplemental” rather than “Basic”) but it would be significant to people currently in greatest need and it would signal the direction in which NZ needs to move.
    • Jay Wu
      commented 2016-12-11 23:04:50 +1300
      I think it would be a good idea to kickstart this, initially at a smaller amount as a supplementary income, which will give us time to tinker with the tax system to get it right. We haven’t got much time to get this working if the prediction is right about the AI replacing large portion of workforce within a decade or two.
    • Jay Wu
      tagged this with interesting 2016-12-11 23:04:50 +1300
    • Jay Wu
      tagged this with important 2016-12-11 23:04:49 +1300
    • Chelsea Finnie
      tagged this with important 2016-12-03 22:40:12 +1300
    • Michael Shallcrass
      commented 2016-12-02 19:16:40 +1300
      As others have said, this is an important concept to have kicking around, but it can’t be implemented without first radically redesigning the taxation system.
    • Michael Shallcrass
      tagged this with important 2016-12-02 19:16:39 +1300
    • Lawrence Upson
      tagged this with essential 2016-12-02 05:18:50 +1300
    • Tam Eaton
      tagged this with important 2016-11-30 07:49:16 +1300
    • Tim O’Donnell
      commented 2016-11-29 21:45:49 +1300
      Way to early for this. You can’t do this until a good tax system is well in place
    • Tim O’Donnell
      tagged this with dislike 2016-11-29 21:45:49 +1300
    • Sue Rine
      tagged this with important 2016-11-29 19:22:04 +1300
    • Blair Shattky
      commented 2016-11-29 16:25:56 +1300
      Think it could be interesting to just get a toe in the door here. An initial implementation at even a very nominal amount could help overcome conceptual inertia as well as giving the bureaucracy an opportunity to implement the systems needed to run a UBI efficiently.
    • Blair Shattky
      tagged this with interesting 2016-11-29 16:25:56 +1300
    • Dan Strahl
      tagged this with essential 2016-11-28 19:09:16 +1300
    • Mathew Knight
      tagged this with important 2016-11-28 17:11:42 +1300
    • Nathan Shaw
      tagged this with interesting 2016-11-28 10:27:52 +1300
    • duncan cairncross
      commented 2016-11-27 15:48:06 +1300
      A UBI would tick so many boxes it’s amazing – everybody should be in favor
    • duncan cairncross
      tagged this with essential 2016-11-27 15:48:06 +1300
    • Ian Butcher
      commented 2016-11-27 11:26:58 +1300
      In conjunction with UBI there needs to be a parallel policy on housing in NZ. Too many people in rental accommodation are at the mercy of speculative ownership by ‘investors’ with a short-term focus of wealth creation through capital gain. That gain having been built on renting to the poor.
      The effect of a Big Kahuna approach is to encourage capital investment away from housing into equities and bonds. There would need to be state building of housing with long term leases available to people who do not want to own their own home or who cannot afford to own their own home. Affordable rents will mean lower ‘returns’ on the capital cost, therefore the State needs to be the builder/developer because it can play the long game with a social good view. Long leases are essential to security of tenure and in establishment of resilient communities.
      Strong and integrated UBI and Housing policies are needed as foundations of the TOP offering.
    • Ian Butcher
      tagged this with important 2016-11-27 11:26:57 +1300
    • Ian Butcher
      commented 2016-11-27 10:59:40 +1300
      TOP must make a principled stand on UBI – the one strong and significant policy plank that clearly differentiates it from any other party in NZ. Let’s be courageous and get this discussion into the mainstream so that it gets a proper airing and assessment by kiwi voters.