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A basic income for everyone?

Steve
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A basic income for everyone?

With Universal Credit being in the spot light I thought we would have a look at  Finland's UBI ( Universal Basic Income ) to see how different it is from the British version.

 

Mark Zuckerberg, Bernie Sanders and Elon Musk back the idea. And trials suggest it can liberate jobless people from a life of humiliation

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/31/finland-universal-basic-income?CMP=Share_iOSAp...

 

 

 

 

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Pete11
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Re: A basic income for everyone?

I'm already on a basic income..the wifey gives me 30 bob a month.  Lips are sealed

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Luzern
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Re: A basic income for everyone?

You'll probably be aghast at this, but at least 40 years ago I red a book written by a Tory that suggested the same for every person. Naturally the  Personal Allowance, which benefits only those with income, would be abolished, and income beyond the UPI would be taxed at increased rates. Corporate and indirect taxes would need adjustment.

TBH I doubt, however better and fairer such a system were, it would not be accepted. People are too focused on their marginal rate and not the true charge on their income, namely the average.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: A basic income for everyone?

I'm sure it's been postulated by many people over the years, heck I heard about Canadian plans to trial it a couple of years ago (dunno if it ever went through though), it's just one of those things that has to get past the financial NIMBYs who don't want people to just be given money for nothing, and the types of people who say everything is communism if they're not making profit from it...

 

Being on the wrong end of the brown & smelly end of the stick myself, I'd be biased to say it'd be a good idea to implement a UBI system for all, but the thing that sticks in my head is, where would the money come from, and how will they go about clawing it back to put back into the pot? Take the current benefits system, you get paid X a month, but you end up with a percentage of that going back to the government as taxes (council tax, VAT, fuel duty, etc.), so you may aswell have not had that percentage of money to begin with, so would a UBI become a "give with one hand, take back with the other" system? Who knows, aside from the bean counters in government that is...

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Re: A basic income for everyone?

Sounds good in theory but unlikely to work.

What's the point in working if you can get money for nothing ?

One of the things that drove many people of the older generation on was the fear of having nothing, how many saved money in jars and boxes or bought those savings stamps for 2/6p ?

Say you got a job and didn't like it or got fed up after a few weeks what's the incentive to stay if you can pack it in and still get paid ?

Ok the job would no doubt pay more but then you have to look at the margin between the lowest level of paid work and what you got if you choose not to work, if the margin is not that big then a few jobs cash in hand might be a better option than working.

Work takes up much of your working life, fine if you have a job you like but how many can claim that.

So based on the above such a system would not work

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Re: A basic income for everyone?

From the article, the way I read it, the UBI pays you enough to survive (I.E. not full-package sky, 12 iphones and daily QVC purchases), but, unlike the current UK benefits system, it allows you to work in your own way to earn more money without penalty, either through employment or through "hobbies that pay" (E.G. wood turned ornaments made in your shed or lawn care for your neighbours), rather than being chastised for daring to earn more than your allotted 15h or £80-something a week limit before they sanction you or cut you off completely...

 

Yes in days gone by, the threat of "work or have nothing" was a thing, but, times have changed, human rights have changed, and of course, the job markets have changed, my dad often tells me that when he left school the one week, he was in a job the following week, today that rarely happens. In the past, you could ask someone "You got any jobs" and if they had, you got a job, these days you have to pretty much do a song and dance just to get approved for an interview. In the past, if you had no experience, they'd show you the ropes, these days, you get shown the door, "Experience is required", except you can't get the experience because they won't let you have it...

 

So, things have to change, one way or the other, but, to me a UBI is a good idea rather than treating us poor lot like criminals for not screwing people over for every penny they have like politicians and big business moguls...

harrym1byt
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Re: A basic income for everyone?


twocvbloke wrote:
Yes in days gone by, the threat of "work or have nothing" was a thing, but, times have changed, human rights have changed, and of course, the job markets have changed, my dad often tells me that when he left school the one week, he was in a job the following week, today that rarely happens. In the past, you could ask someone "You got any jobs" and if they had, you got a job, these days you have to pretty much do a song and dance just to get approved for an interview. In the past, if you had no experience, they'd show you the ropes, these days, you get shown the door, "Experience is required", except you can't get the experience because they won't let you have it...

 

So, things have to change, one way or the other, but, to me a UBI is a good idea rather than treating us poor lot like criminals for not screwing people over for every penny they have like politicians and big business moguls...


 

Back in those days, which I worked through, wages were so much less as were peoples expectations of income and what you could buy. I started work as an apprentice for around £3.50 per week wage, you worked cheap to learn a skill, many were paid much more, but it was an investment in your own future and better income later in life. I never regretted it, with skills under my belt I always had a job and good income.

It was a time when you could pack a job in on Friday and have another the next Monday.You wanted a bike or a car, you saved up for it for months or even years.

That has all long ago been replaced by instant gratification and must have everything right now.  

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Re: A basic income for everyone?

The thing I'm not clear about is how the money is raised to pay for a "Basic Income"? 

It's either taxation or government borrowing.  The borrowing approach is a bit like living off a credit card and expecting your kids to repay the bill. The taxation approach is to take a greater than current percentage of the profits from exported services and trade or from manufacturing exports. Currently these "exports" bring money into our country and as salaries to workers, hence redistribution via taxation. 

People receiving a "basic income" do not increase our exports and in effect deplete the national wealth when they buy imported goods and services, for example, oil based products,foreign holidays etc. We need to be careful that the proportion spent on such benefits does not exceed the capacity of export earnings.

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Luzern
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Re: A basic income for everyone?

A fairly recent report says that about 50% of population pays income tax. A substantial proportion could be in receipt of benefits. I would think that with the basic income in place most of those benefits would cease, and the money therefrom would go into the pot for basic income.

Also what about savings from having a system that is less complex and labour intensive, that could be largely or completely automated?

Surely savings are to be made, which again go in to the pot.

 

@AlaricAdair, as many do, emphasizes benefit costs. I do not deny him his thoughts, but in so many cases that focus helps the "they're all scroungers" opinion of those in need. SadTicked off The basic income would go to reduce, if not iradicate, that stigma.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: A basic income for everyone?


Luzern wrote:

The basic income would go to reduce, if not iradicate, that stigma.


 

That's the way I look at it myself, being on JSA myself, I was put onto a college course a few weeks back to improve my Maths & English GCSE grades, which I was quite happy to do (they cover the travel costs and lunches), except, on Thursday on mandatory hoop-jumping sign-on day, I was told that I must apply for jobs and forget the college course, or else I'll be sanctioned, despite them telling me that I had to do the college course, or else I'd be sanctioned, so I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't, and I feel like I'm being treated like dirt for trying to do right by myself...

 

Taking away this stigma of being forced into doing something isn't healthy, particularly when someone is under treatment for depression and anxiety (such as myself), would be a massive benefit to people who are suffering at the hands of "the system", when all they want to do is live a peaceful life 'til the day the push up the daisies...

 

But as I said before, there's the political NIBMYs to contend with, and I do agree that the "Where does the money come from?" question should be answered, but, something has to change, criminalising the poor for being poor is not the way forward, it's the way backwards to dickensian workhouse mentalities...

Steve
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Re: A basic income for everyone?


AlaricAdair wrote:

The thing I'm not clear about is how the money is raised to pay for a "Basic Income"? 

 


Remember this is a trial of some 2000 people. And what they are receiving on UBI is the same amount you would get for being unemployed. I would imagine if it is to become a success all they need to do is drop the stigma of being unemployed and scrap the rules and sanctions ( if they have sanctions in Finland ) which in theory should boost the morale.

 

Lets face it, those over here suffering in poverty have to eat from food banks which definitely lowers the morale.

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Re: A basic income for everyone?

But that raises even more questions such as what is the minimum amount of money a person would need to live on so food banks would no longer be required.

The question is unanswerable as there are so many variables such as a single parent with several children, the area you live in, your outgoings in terms of rent or mortgage along with all other bills which keep increasing well above the rate of inflation.

Many people who are working have to settle for a 1% annual increase or no increase at all so how could a basic wage for everybody work as it could only work if it kept up with inflation.

Food banks should not exist in this day and age along with a variety of other things but until we get a government that addresses these issues rather than just accepts these things then nothing will change and sadly it seems more important to hang on to traditions and old ways of doing things rather than making changes that will allow a system which will address those issues.

Steve
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Re: A basic income for everyone?

UBI coming to the UK 2019

 

Fife Council is planning its own basic income trial. It wants to go further than Finland and apply it to an entire town, giving up to £7,000 to everyone - no matter their age or employment status.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/universal-basic-income-finland-shows-how-salary-for-all-works-11119005

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Re: A basic income for everyone?

@Steve

Be interesting to see what happens if they go ahead.

How is everybody in a Town defined ? Will anyone sleeping rough in the town be included or do you need an address, if you need an address what is to stop anyone allowing hundreds of people using their address ?

Free money will attract people like a magnet.

Bit like the health service, benefit payments etc which were intended for those who really need them but sadly are abused by some who want something for nothing.

Steve
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Re: A basic income for everyone?

For the trial people would prob need to register. Some F&Q here if you are interested  http://citizensincome.org/faqs/