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 56 reactions

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Daniel 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.
  • Richard Wyles
    commented 2016-11-27 10:59:03 +1300
    Perhaps more difficult but politically more palatable. Phase 1 = major simplification of current welfare system and progressively shifting tax burden whilst flagging direction. This gives an opportunity for people to start shifting their investment mix. Lead time is important to gain the necessary support.
    Phase 2 = the end goal design

    If you don’t do this it is “radical reform” which like the 80s creates some big loslers and distortions. Back then the examples were farmers going to the wall while the urban middle class splurged on a speculative sharemarket. Staged reform attached to a timeline has a greater opportunity of success
  • James Maclaurin
    commented 2016-11-27 09:48:04 +1300
    Phasing in a UBI is difficult because many of the savings result from not having to pay for a complex welfare system that adminstrates the comlex rules about who is entitled to what. So I think we should aim high, tax wealth effectively, deliver a UBI and make NZ fair again. If we don’t, we will eventually end up in the same position as the UK and US with voters angry at ‘the system’ and prepared to vote in anyone who claims they will overthrow it.
  • James Maclaurin
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-27 09:48:03 +1300