As anyone who has ever dealt with the welfare or tax systems knows, there is a potential joy in asking them to do something simple rather than administer the current unwieldy structure. Surely even they would be able to hand out free money? Sadly, though, we are left with the truth that the most important part of the phrase “universal basic income” is “basic”. We can afford it if it is set at a near-trivial level, not if it’s any more than that.

8 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  1. We can’t afford it because why the F should a working person have money taken away to give to someone who doesn’t work?

  2. why the F should a working person have money taken away to give to someone who doesn’t work?

    Why indeed. Our current system is awful but at least pretends it only supports those who are unable to work and those between gainful employment.

    The only other reason for feeding an animal is in order to eat it later. Britain’s underclasses do not look tasty to me, however I frequently read that there will be a crisis due to the demands for animal protein from the developing world – Chinese and Indian chaps demanding steak etc.

    Perhaps we could meet that demand? An export-driven modest proposal.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    There is a simple answer to this bollocks:

    4. To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

    The Left used to be about making sure the working man got what was his and no one else could take it away from him. Now they are determined to give the working man’s wages to everyone else and to make sure he gets none.

  4. My personal objections to it are:

    1. The benefits it is meant to ‘replace’ will never be removed, politically impossible
    2. The supposed cost savings from a ‘simplified’ system (which would never arise, see 1) are imaginary because the civil servants, whose salaries are the vast majority of these costs, would stay on the payroll and just made to do some other pointless or even actively harmful task.

  5. At the moment the government sets a “living wage”, being the assumed minimum amount a person needs to live on.

    Then they tax it.

    So there is no hope of them ever defining a UBI in the first place.

  6. “why the F should a working person have money taken away to give to someone who doesn’t work?”

    We already have that, it’s called the State Pension.

    No, don’t go on about “I’ve worked for that, I’ve paid for that”. You get a state pension purely because you have been alive for a certain period of time, no more, no less. “But National Insurance….” You get a basic State Pension based on the number of contributions, and if that does not come to 100%, you get a top up to 100% if you have no other income.

    You can have been unemployed for every year you were alive, and still get 100% of a State Pension.

  7. @ jgh
    Not quite
    If you have Nil entitlement to a State Pension you get Nil. If you have entitlement to 1% of a state pension you get that 1% PLUS the Pension Credit that tops it up to the same level as someone with entitlement to 100% of the State Pension. Anyone who has saved into an private/occupational pension is penalised by the lesser of their private/occupational and the excess of the Pension Credit limit over basic state pension.
    So, for workers like you (or me in my younger days) who save for retirement the State Pension does depend on and, to some extent, reflect our NI contributions; for those who don’t it’s mostly a hand-out.

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