EXTRACT from an article by Joanna Mather
The bill for a universal basic income would quickly mount into the trillions of dollars over a decade, making it an “unbelievably bad idea”, economist Simon Cowan says.
The Centre for Independent Studies research fellow modelled a number of theoretical options for a UBI and found them to be either “prohibitively expensive” or vastly inadequate for those unable to earn more than the basic entitlement through paid work.
The concept of UBI – a non means-tested stipend for every citizen – has supporters on both the left and right of the political spectrum; on the left as a path to poverty alleviation, and on the right because it might be used as cover to slash welfare bills.
The likes of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson have backed the idea of a UBI in the context of automation making many jobs redundant. Leading Australian investor Mark Carnegie is also a fan.
Finland has launched a UBI trial, and Labor’s left faction reportedly wants the concept given serious consideration in NSW, although Labor’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers has scoffed at the idea.
SOURCE: Mather, Joanna. “UBI: Universal basic income an ‘unbelievably bad idea’.” Australian Financial Review, 5 November 2017.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia