I’ve been heartened by cross party support for the idea of a temporary UBI. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has confirmed on Radio NZ this morning that the idea is being considered (*5 mins in) and sensibly, Simon Bridges has not ruled out supporting it.
No word on what the UBI might be set at, but around $3-400 pw seems like a good place to start. That would mean MSD wouldn’t have to worry about base benefits and they could then focus on supplementary support where it’s actually needed.
Simon Bridges’ one reservation is that he is worried that once in place, a UBI could not be reversed. For me, that’s one of the best possibles reasons for bringing it in. As the capitalists say, never let a crisis go unexploited.
Covid-19 has exposed the hollow lie that is at the heart of the free market; it turns out that our society actually relies on cooperation, community and good Government.
Introducing a permanent UBI is going to be essential if NZ is going to survive long term. I say that because if you think this virus is bad news, just you wait until climate change starts to bite.
Then, it’ll be bugger the Red Shed, and bring out your dead.