Left and Right Unite! – For the UBI Fight!

September 2021 Forums General discussion Left and Right Unite! – For the UBI Fight!

Viewing 9 posts - 196 through 204 (of 204 total)
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  • #220424
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yesterday I received through my letter box a leaflet from the local Green Party, one news of which, headed “Time For New Big Ideas” said:

    “The Council has backed the Green’s motion to trial Universal Basic Income (UBI). UBI is a regular, non-means tested government payment to everyone, regardless of their income or work situation.”

    I have sent the following email to the local Green Party councillor:

    “Thanks for the leaflet delivered yesterday. I have a question about the proposed trial of this ‘regular, non-means tested government payment to everyone, regardless of their income or work situation.’
    Will the trial that the Council is calling for be a trial of this, i.e., of everyone in a selected area being paid for a period a non-means tested sum of money regardless of their income or work situation?”

    Watch this space for her reply so we can see whether the proposed trial would be of UBI or of something else.

    #220525
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Ilhan Omar is set to introduce legislation on Friday that would establish a guaranteed income program.

    The SUPPORT Act “would first create a $2.5 billion grant program to fund local pilots in guaranteed income. These would run in hundreds of communities across the country from 2023 to 2027 and provide findings for a national program. The national guaranteed income program would start in 2028, sending $1,200 per month to adults making up to $75,000 per year, or heads of household making up to $112,500 per year, as well as providing $600 monthly per child. The payments would phase out for higher incomes.”

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/07/30/new-guaranteed-income-bill-omar-proposes-sending-most-people-us-1200-month

    jam tomorrow and means tested.

    #220531
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I have been trying to work out exactly what is being proposed but it’s not a payment of $1200 a month to everyone (about £10,000 a year) as the Huff Post seems to be suggesting. That appears to be the maximum amount, the exact amount depending on your other income, even if most people might get something.

    A guaranteed income scheme is not the same as UBI of course but a scheme to bring everybody’s income up to a minimum level.

    #220633
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Although not technically UBI, I think it is related

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/aug/12/tuc-calls-on-treasury-to-create-permanent-furlough-scheme

    Instead of scrapping the furlough scheme at the end of next month the TUC is calling for wage subsidy experiment which would protect workers against recessions, a new wave of the pandemic or the transition to a green economy by having 80% of their wages guaranteed by the state.

    #220945
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I have now received a reply to my letter from my local Green Party councillor, Andree Frieze:

    “Thanks for getting in touch about this.
    Unfortunately, we are not able to bring in UBI trials at a Council level as they require support from Inland Revenue due to the implications over taxation. The motion calling for a trial was to show the Council’s support for it and to put pressure on the Goverment to consider it as an alternative to Universal Credit.
    If you’re interested in finding out more and supporting calls for UBI, do check out UBI Lab’s website – https://www.ubilabnetwork.org/. ”

    This website, which is made up of local groups mostly in the UK campaigning for a pilot scheme to test UBI describes this as:

    “UBI is a regular and unconditional payment given to everyone regardless of their income, wealth or work.
    A UBI could provide financial security for all, building more resilient economies and giving everyone the resources they need to thrive.”

    “Financial security for all” and “giving everyone the resources they need to thrive” — all that under capitalism?

    #222108
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I don’t know if this qualifies as UBI but it is a universal and (very) basic income — everyone over 18 in Northern Ireland who applies is to be given vouchers worth £100 to spend in local shops.

    This is not new as it had been done in Taiwan quite a few times.

    The Northern Irish vouchers have to be spent in October and November, so that £50 a month or £600 a year if it really was a permanent UBI. Which realistically is about what UBI would pay if ever introduced as a universal payment to everyone.

    #222114
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    isn’t it what is called helicopter money.

    #222115
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I suppose it could be seen as a mini version of it except that the consumers are not being given money which they can do what they like with (for instance save it). The NI scheme is handing out vouchers that cannot be saved (or spent on gambling) and which have to be used by a certain date. The aim is rather less ambitious too. It’s to help local shopkeepers rather than to try to relaunch the economy through stimulating consumer spending.

    I would say that it has more in common with local currencies, as the aim of both is to help local shops. Also some local currencies devalue if they are not spent within a given time period.

    #222119
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Although they are being called “vouchers” people there will in fact be given a plastic card with £100 pre-paid on it which they can use in shops and restaurants (as long of course as these have terminals that can accept cards, as most will have these days).

    Anyone for labour-time plastic cards? Like the SLP of America and certain Council Communists who still think in these dated terns, for instance.

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