Universal Basic Income to be Part of Government Summit
Universal Basic Income to be Part of Government Summit
Why this petition matters
There is a better way: A Universal Basic Income that enables people to earn more on top if they can, but ensures their survival if they can't.
Please sign this petition and ask your friends and family to sign, and ask them to ask their friends and family. Just because you sign, is not enough. We need to have a cascade of people asking people... then just maybe we might get some attention. Good luck!!!
The petition just seeks to get the topic on the agenda for discussion at the Governments upcoming Summit.
Surely, we can do that!
Here's Why a UBI is needed:
Once it was the birthright of every person to live off the land. With the creation of property rights, money and the system of paid work, this is no longer possible.
As a result, humans are the only species that need money to survive.
While this system has delivered huge benefits for the majority, it has left a significant minority destitute.
Over 3.2 million Australians live in poverty. Mostly single women, kids, aged and disabled, and some people between jobs, all of whom lack savings and family support.
This is not a fixed group of people: the young grow up and find their own way, the disabled age, and the aged die, while their carers and those between jobs find new paid employment... only to be replaced by a new group.
That the percentage of people living in poverty (around12-14% of the population) has not materially changed despite 30 years of continuous growth (prior to the pandemic), shows that most poverty is due to the system, not 'personal failings'.
We can't fix this 'system problem' by paying more welfare, as the higher the benefit, the more rational it is for people to take the benefit in lieu of a low paid job. This is called 'The Welfare Trap'.
The answer is to restore each person's birth right by giving everyone the money they need to survive:
A Universal Basic Income
Set at or above the poverty line (currently around $500/week... though likely more with recent inflation)
This would provide a 'floor to stand on', not a 'ceiling to achievement'. Everyone would be encouraged to better themselves and their family as (unlike welfare) they would not lose the UBI if they worked
The money is not the cost. The cost is the resources people need to live.
Yet, we don't lack the resources... and we certainly don't lack the money: we create the stuff.
The problem is that the system does not get sufficient money to all people who need it - when they need it.
We who benefit from the system have no right to enjoy its fruits at at the expense of people who by ill-fortune are born into, or find themselves in poverty simply because they cannot work for any number of reasons, at some time in their lives:
You get divorced, or sick, or injured, and have no leave, or savings, or family support, or
You are a kid, whose father has left you without support,
Or you become disabled, or simply age, and can no longer work, but you don't own your own home, and have no savings, or
You had a job, but get the sack after a disagreement with the boss, or
There is a fall in business, and the boss lays you off, or
A pandemic, or flood or fire comes along and wipes out your livelihood, or
The Algorithm denies you shifts, or
Your car breaks down, and you can't afford to get it fixed and have no other way of getting to work, or
You have to take care of a sick or disabled child, or aged parents, or
For any of the other many reasons you cannot work for a time.
And it is not just people who cannot work. It impacts everyone living on the edge, pay to pay.
It may be a woman supporting couple of kids in a low-paid job who is constantly terrified of getting sick because she has no one to look after her kids, and cannot afford to take time off, else she cannot pay the rent, or buy food, or pay the heating bill.
Imagine instead, if she was earning $60,000 per year AND receiving $500/week UBI while she is working.
But, because she is working, 32.25% of her wage was recovered every week via an extra levy - collected via group tax (so she and her employer don't have to even think about it).
Without any change to the tax system, she'd pay $11,167 tax giving her a net of $48,833 = $939/week
She'd also receive $500/week UBI but have to pay back each week 32.26% of her gross wage of $60,000/52 = $372
This means that with the UBI, she would be better off by $500 UBI - $372 recovery = $128/week.
While paying and then recovering the UBI may seem inefficient, it ensures the payment is Universal:
1. Removing Stigma
2. Simplifying Administration
3. Providing 'Basic Income Insurance'
As regards the 'insurance', say the woman in the above scenario gets sick and has to take off two weeks without pay.
For those two weeks, her UBI of $500 would continue to come in, but without deduction (because she would be without income).
So now she would have $500 to meet the basics for each week. No delay, no need to apply. No Bureaucracy to prove she qualifies. She can spend the time getting better and caring for her kids.
What would that do for her mental health, and the well-being of her kids?
Then, when she returns to work, she would start again to repay $372 out of her earnings each week.
Above $80,600 pa earnings, the full UBI would be repaid, so there would be no direct cost or benefit.
Yet, at any time, anyone who loses earned income for any reason would be assured of at least a basic income, 'as of right' for survival - restoring their birthright.
For people now living on welfare, there would be no change to any program, but the UBI would count as income for determining their benefit entitlement... still leaving them better off.
This scheme can be introduced without increasing taxes or debt or taking money from other programs.
It has been developed by Basic Income Australia.
We need your support to get it into the conversation.