Universal Basic Income

NENA UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME HUB

“I believe that the legacy of this coronavirus crisis is going to be the end of normal in the same way that the great depression, the Second World War created new concepts and new institutions ...I believe the legacy is going to be the end of over reliance on monetary policy, with fiscal policy playing almost no role over the last decades and the institution as more or less a bi-partisan idea of a kind of universal basic income.”
Yanis Varoufakis - https://soundcloud.com/yanisv/coronavirus-the-economic-crisis

GOALS OF THE NENA BASIC INCOME HUB

In line with the goals of New Economy Network Australia (NENA) the UBI hub is working to transform Australia’s economic system so that achieving ecological health and social justice are the foundational principles and primary objectives of the economic system.

We believe that credible alternatives to the prevailing economic culture are urgently needed, and Universal Basic Income (UBI – see our description below) offers the fairest, most practical and most comprehensive transformative approach.

To co-construct radical alternatives we need to change the discourse, to replace 20th century narratives built on the illusion of infinite resources, on an anthropocentrism that disconnected humans from nature. This is the collective mission to embrace and UBI can play a central role.

Therefore the goals of NENA’s UBI are to:

  • Work with other NENA Hubs and Members to share ideas, collaborate and develop initiatives that support the New Economy
  • Establish Deonnections between UBI proponents and other NENA hubs and Members around Australia
  • Provide an avenue to share information, resources and news about UBI
  • Enable members to make time and space to develop collaborative projects

HUB COORDINATORS

NENA UBI HUB MEETINGS

  • Please contact the coordinators if you'd like to join our next meeting - everyone is welcome

CURRENT PROJECTS/ UBI EVENTS

  • Join our upcoming webinar on Thursday, 20th May 2021 @ 12pm AEST!

    The webinar will involve three short presentations followed by a Q&A session

    Following the long period of disruption caused by the pandemic, the idea of a regenerative economy means different things to different people. While some look for a return to “normal", or business as usual, this panel is concerned with how Basic Income may form one of the fundamentals of an economy that is regenerative in a larger ecological sense.

    How can basic income help to transform the future of work and alter the way we do business?

    How have public attitudes to Basic Income changed during the past 18 months, especially since the Biden administration is bringing a very different sense of priorities to economic policy in the US?

    What are the key policy challenges we face in trying to implement a basic income plan in Australia?

    SPEAKER BIOS

    Jane Goodall

    Jane Goodall is an Emeritus Professor with the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. She has a diverse track record as a writer and commentator on the history and politics of cultural change. She writes regularly for Inside Story.

    Josh McGee

    Josh McGee is the founder and convenor of Basic Income Australia. The group has been running for four years and hosts monthly Basic Income discussion and action meetings.

    He is currently studying a double degree of Robotics Engineering and Computer Science and has an interest in using automation to meet people's needs.

    Loriana Luccioni

    Loriana Luccioni is a PhD student at The University of Queensland. She is close to completing her dissertation on the cultural feasibility for the implementation of a Universal Basic Income in Australia. This study findings and conclusions will be the topic of her presentation. She completed degrees in Psychology, Sociology, and a Master in European and Comparative Social Policy at the LSE, where her dissertation on Discourse and the construction of Human Needs in Social Policies, was awarded the 2013 Titmuss Prize. Following a brief collaboration as independent researcher with the Policy Innovation Hub at Griffith University, she has been involved in UBI activism and advocacy in Australia since 2017.

RESOURCES & READING

“Time to think differently – but just how differently?” Jane Goodall, Inside Story 20/02/20
https://insidestory.org.au/time-to-think-differently-but-just-how-differently/

 

UBI NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA AND AROUND THE WORLD

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WHAT IS A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME (UBI)?

UBI is a radically redistributive social policy. Its principles are based on:

  1. A “right to a fair share” of common natural resources and socially created wealth
  2. A human right to a livelihood/income
  3. An encompassing principle of freedom: freedom to and freedom from.

Specifically it is:

  • Universal: Paid to every citizen and permanent resident of a country
  • Unconditional: Obligation free, not subjected to a means test or willingness-to-work test. Paid on individual, not household basis.
  • Basic: The level assumed here is one high enough to cover basic living costs such as housing, food, clothing, and transports.
  • Income: Based on a concept of right, not charity. Paid in cash and not in the form of consumer goods or services

We believe that a UBI is the first step towards a radically different, ecologically sustainable socio-cultural, political and economic system – not its end goal. It frees up human mental and physical energies to redesign the whole paradigm: to think about it and to work towards it.

Among other things a UBI could:

  • Promote psychological security through stress and anxiety reduction. This leads to a cascade of positive consequences at the individual and societal levels.
  • Reduce status-based conspicuous consumption as the stigma attached to poverty is decreased.
  • Reduce working hours, as fewer goods are required to achieve an acceptable level of consumption, and ultimately to lower environmental impact.
  • Shift attention from material consumption to other opportunities that are pro-social like community-based provisions, volunteer work, cultural and sports activities and thus, more sustainable, resource-efficient routes to wellbeing.
  • Increase the ability of the poor to purchase higher quality, longer-lasting, and “ethical” goods, and this may have positive environmental outcomes.
  • Provide the time and money that would allow for increasingly sustainable lifestyle practices.
  • Promote human health, which can provide funds from reduced healthcare costs, to be reinvested in environmental protection, infrastructures and more.
  • Promote alternative production models like cooperatives through resources-pooling
  • The recognition of autonomy and human value beyond individuals’ positioning in narrowly defined labor markets might engender different kinds of behaviors based on human interdependency.
  • Care and all kinds of informal contributions such as creative endeavors will be recognized as well as intrinsically valuable and quintessentially human activities.
  • Paid at individual, rather than household level, it can address unequal, gender based power relations within families, therefore have an emancipatory role.
  • Act like a ‘strike fund’ by recasting the power relationship between labour and capital.
  • Address forecasts of automation-led mass unemployment, by delinking a duty to work from a right to income
  • Its universal character means that it might strengthen solidarity, reignite the value and significance of the ‘common good’, and allow time and resources for widespread political engagement
  • Weaken the stigma attached to dependence and promotes interdependence among humans and with nature

HOW TO PAY FOR IT?

  • Through a complete redesign of the tax-benefit system
  • Through “The Commons”