Saturday, 17 June 2017

Australia debates UBI

Australia's Green Institute says that leaders of the Federal (Opposition) Labor Party should review their opposition to a universal basic income, the Guardian Australia reports.

On the other hand, the Australian Green Party has argued a universal basic income should be considered in conjunction with a four-day working week.

The Green Institute has released a new paper, Views of a UBI: Perspectives from Across Australia, that records the views of different Australians on universal basic income (UBI), a contentious policy idea that is slowly gaining international currency.

However, Chris Bowen, the shadow treasurer, argued forcefully against a UBI during a speech to the progressive thinktank PerCapita, calling it a "terrible idea" adding that Labor should not give up on the principle "of ensuring dignity through work."

Tim Hollo, the executive director of the Green Institute, challenged this view.

"Might we not actually be better off heading towards what John Maynard Keynes was talking about almost 100 years ago, that we should, by this stage, be looking at a 15-hour working week and re-evaluating our ideas of employment and paid work?" he asked.

Monday, 5 June 2017

EU funds basic income pilots

The Barcelona district of Besós has been picked to test a €13 million European Union funded pilot scheme investigating “innovative and creative solutions” to urban poverty, The Local reports.

Barcelona was chosen alongside Utrecht in the Netherlands and the Finnish city of Helsinki to test the scheme, which will see the poorest residents in each chosen district given grants for two years to lift them above the breadline.

In the B-Mincome experiment, 1,000 randomly selected low-income households in the Besós district will be given grants of between 400 and 525 euros a month for two years.

Those taking part will be divided into four distinct groups and given the grants in different forms as a way of analysing the ways in which low income families can be best helped.