Reply to post: Re: fast forward.

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: fast forward.

> UBI is a great idea in theory. But so is giving everyone everything for free. Forever.

Nah. The practical problems are:

(1) an income of £50 or £100 per week is not a useful amount to live off - the main problem being the cost of housing.

If there are not enough houses to go around for the number of people who want to live in them, the cost of housing will always rise to put it out of reach of the poorest.

For someone who is single but has no job - they might be able to bunk at a mate's place, but can at least pay for pizza and beer from their UBI.

For a single parent without a job - they will still be destitute.

(2) it is meaningless unless it can replace almost all other benefits (including jobseekers allowance, housing benefit etc). If the UBI isn't enough to live on, and you can still claim other benefits to top it up, then UBI doesn't solve any of the problems it claims to - such as high marginal tax rates when you get a job. We are back to square one.

Apart from the above, I think it can be made to add up more or less:

- scrap tax free allowances, and charge everyone ~40% tax on every pound they earn (replacing both income tax and NI). By the time they receive their UBI, people in work will be more or less unaffected.

- stop treating earned and unearned income differently; lump them together

- scrap child benefit, and pay the child's UBI to the parents

But if the aim of UBI is to plan for a post-work society where robots generate most of GDP, the amounts being discussed mean that the majority will live in poverty, unless you also build and maintain homes for everyone.

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