Universal Basic Income

This is something that Canada has toyed with for decades. Various small community studies have been conducted to observe the real world effects (in Canada - I’m sure elsewhere as well).

I think this idea is born from the shift to robotics, the increase of population, and an “unequal” distribution of wealth.

All three realities of our computerized society may be used as fearful developments AND without any form of address, will be a dystopian type outcome.

Increase in populations are linked to poverty, poor health, lack of education, lack of opportunity and dependence on “handouts and charities”.
Robotics are financially reducing the need for human labor, displacing many and creating new service industries.
Financial titans steer the world and take full advantage of societal handouts under the claim of keeping employment, creating jobs and monopolizing vital serves that our modern society requires.

Should Canada (or other countries) move towards this it is estimated that once regular incomes (disability, EI, CPP, etc) are blanketed under “UBI” (universal basic income), an additional 44 billion would be “needed”.

We’ve had no problems in the past taxing. No government issue with GST (business no tariffs- consumers pay) or Carbon Taxing (gas in your tank are almost all taxes) or failing to keep and distribute wealth to its citizens via “resource wealth”.

Our GST is separated into necessary (no GST on milk) and non-necessary (McDonalds meal, yes).

I was wondering-
What about a “luxury” tax tier? Subjectively, tax is set for “poor, middle, wealthy”. The poor, in theory, should be paying little to no GST. The middle and wealthy, more so. BUT is a person is spending millions on a home, or their vehicle/s are over 100k, one pair of jeans is $600 and a purse is $15,000…don’t get me into jewelry and art… couldn’t there be a higher tax placed upon these forms of purchases?

Nobody has any qualms about charging me an arm and a leg in tax for smoking :smoking:…so if you have the money to “afford” these, what’s the problem?

Canada - this figure includes ONLY (In the Consumer Market Outlook, Luxury Goods encompass highly exclusive personal items that convey the taste and status of their owners. This includes Apparel, Footwear and Leather Accessories, Eyewear, as well as Watches and Jewelry, and Cosmetics.) GOODS not vehicles or high end housing

C$7,002m OR … $7,002,000,000

($5,395m USD) in 2021. The market is expected to grow annually by 3.26%

Canada - Luxury Vehicles the Luxury Cars market segment is projected to reach C$395m

Oh business subsidies… Canada spend about $29 billion a year on business subsidies

Fascinating concept.

In Oz, in the1950’s we had ‘the needs basic wage’. This was meant to be enough for a family of four (single income) “to live in modest comfort”. That was followed by a basic wage based on ‘the capacity of industry to pay’ which was higher. Today, not so much

The Marxist in me loves the idea of effective profit sharing with workers.

I take your point about robotics and add the disaster of the casualisation of industry, particularly in the service and hospitality industries.

When I finally retired, the Australian public service no longer made permanent new hires. Everyone was on contract. Goodbye secure employment and redundancy payments. I was Ok because there was a grandfather clause.

I truly don’t have an answer. I love the idea of a guaranteed national income. I think it might work if done properly. I also think there’s a chance of massive inflation if it’s done ‘crudely’ in the form of cash payments.

The beauty of GST is its simplicity. As soon as you start putting different rates on different items, life gets very complicated for small businesses, which are major generators of employment and wealth in most countries.

Next time I buy a super-yacht or private jet, I’ll be paying millions in GST (15% in New Zealand). If you bump up the rate, I might change my mind and put the people who make those things out of work. Additionally, the super-wealthy are capable of disguising personal purchases as business expenses, allowing them to claw back all the GST.

Some form of universal basic income will be unavoidable when robots take over all the jobs. My main concern with that is that bureaucrats and politicians will have even more control over everyone’s lives.

Pretty sure we already have that in Oz. EG On luxury cars it’s 33% vs 27% on ordinary vehicles. --Plus there is a massive dealer’s premium due to low number sold.

When Volvo were still an excellent car (about 20+ years ago) there was this urban myth: Take $AU5000***, fly to Sweden, have short holiday, buy a Volvo from the factory, ship it home, pay the import duty, and you will still have change.

***that was allegedly the dealer’s mark up here.

I’ve thought about this - but no more than with old age pensions, or disability - they do with ei and social assistance programs (meant to be a social net). It should be available regardless of income (under a set amount).

Nowadays though, money is being made through many unique ways…

Could you imagine if charities were not necessary, or food banks, or clothing drives…
OR people didn’t have a good chunk of their cheques going to payday loans.

Yet, how long could it last, beyond a bump? I have no clue - but human nature? Buying beyond means would start, and food banks couldn’t go away because some would spend their money gambling and such…

Marxist ideal (no thank you - they lost me at no personal property) or Adam Smith (personal interest [economic] is good for community) are both flawed in reality.

In Australia it will be the big 4 Banks and the Liberal Party (Christian Conservatives) who will (and do control your spending.

The Indue Card was introduced a few years ago to sequester income from those those considered “at risk” from gambling, drinking, smoking etc. The card can only be used in selected (by Indue) stores, no secondhand or charity stores…go figure that one! No alcohol, smokes etc. The scheme has been expanded and included all those residing and on a welfare payment in “selected” (read poorest) areas.

So from a sequestration of income to prevent expenditure on “bad” things it has morphed into a postcode lottery, regardless of your history. Welfare: bad/irresponsible.

80% of your income is sequestered leaving 20% for bills that have to be paid by cash. As indue is a Liberal Party oiffshoot, naturally it is run completely inefficiently and at greater cost to the government. Some recipients are unable to pay their rent to private landlords, others unable to buy outside of the “company store” that prices way above market in remote areas. No online bargains for instance.

The Lieberals are spreading this cancer and have stated they want everyone on welfare to have this card regardless of any drink, gambling or drug related problems. It is now distributed geographically to the most deprived communities, with rollout to all areas by 2025. They have also announced that the Banks will partner with Indue to administer the card…yeh right…that will solve all the problems, the banks being a non profit organisation?

The biggest test for the govt is they changed the ages pension from an earned status to “Welfare” just 3 years ago and have intimated that the Indue card will apply to aged pensions as well…as boomers are the largest consistent consumers of gambling and alcohol…I wonder how long a govt that tries this on seniors will last when it is a scheme to enrich only themselves and their “top end” mates?

If it was a genuine attempt at rectifying some of the terrible problems in remote communities and those nestled in some country and rural towns, fair enough, it would have my support, but is is not. It is an attempt to control and direct spending directly through authoritarian means.

Is it the future for Universal Basic Income in Australia? Under the Rightist Christian mob in control at the moment…you bet your life!

1 Like

Thanks for sharing that.

That is a prime example of “control” if I’ve ever read one!

I could, like you, get behind a system whereby societal monies are somewhat designated for their purpose, food/clothing/shelter - but there are so many flaws and gaps in what you described… :grimacing:

A UBI if ever, would include all types of people and may perhaps have some “managed purpose”??? BUT there would not be a limit on making money outside of the income.

I guess only those that are fully reliant on it for everything would be held “hostage”. I don’t like the idea of monopolizing grocers/stores (would UBI only be good at Walmarts :roll_eyes:)…

1 Like

I didn’t know that. Having worked for Social Security for over 25 years, I was under the impression that all payments made under the terms of the Social Security Act (1947) have always been considered welfare payments.

All major allowances and pensions*** are subject to an income and assets test. IE they are paid on the basis of need. A person has an entitlement to a benefit if he/she meets certain statutory conditions.

IMO the claim that the govmint is intending to make the age pension pension subject to draconian controls is fear mongering of the first water. You said " imtimated 3 years ago" Who made such a claim? Evidence please .

*** The Blind Pension is income and asset test free. There is a means test on family allowance payments. The majority of Aussies with kids get some benefit.

PS when it comes to politicians most especially, I am reluctant to ascribe malice when it is just as likely a matter of incompetence and stupidity

I am very happy to pay more tax if it goes to those folk who need a bit of a hand. The trouble is the wankers (I am doing my best not to use the c-word) who clip the ticket. Regardless, I am for a universal basic income even though some people will abuse it. Well, now all I have to do is wait for is the abuse of the naysayers, I will give them a “Fuck you” in advance to save time.

Yes you are quite right. Malcolm Fraser actually consolidated the two taxes (One for pensions) into Consolidated Revenue. However the Aged or Seniors Pension, like the Blind, widows, veterans pensions were considered sacrosanct and not within the purview of the various welfare commissars. The almost fiction of a separate “taxation fund of entitlement” to a secure aged pension was kept alive for a few decades.

Morrison recently changed the titling, and thus status, of the aged pension to bring it under the overall regulation of standard Centrelink procedures so as to include its recipients into the Indue Card rort should it be introduced in a particular postcode. It was, before cordoned off from such an intrusion as lip service to the “separate funding illusion” .

This is all done by “Ministerial Regulation” so no Act is required, just the say so of the govt of the day and its loaded committee in the commons. It, like, Morrison, slid through on its belly despite our protests.

Oh for fuck’s sake, use cunt! Jesus fuckin’Christ- you’re a kiwi :kiwi_fruit: and I believe we worked out the “use” issue.

I don’t think :thinking: all the wankers are Canadian women.

1 Like

Just so, I didn’t know there were any. (discounting female politicians of course)

Be fair, he was probably confused:

1 Like