The Labour Party is considering a universal basic income as part of its Future of Work project.
Leader Andrew Little confirmed his party was exploring the concept during a visit to Trevor Mallard’s Hutt South electorate last week.
Little said significant changes to the way New Zealanders worked were unavoidable.
“The possibility of higher structural unemployment is actually what’s driving us,” he said.
Pure universal basic income (UBI) systems, in theory, would give adults a regular income from the government regardless of their income or assets.
They would replace other forms of welfare, such as pensions, benefits and student allowances.
Although only trialled on small scale overseas, the idea is that a UBI would be set at a level which people could subsist on, but not at a high enough level to serve as a significant disincentive to work.
No country had a UBI because the numbers simply don’t add up. It has significant theoretical appeal, but if you ever try to implement one, it is only possible by a huge huge increase in tax.
So what you end up with is all New Zealanders being taxed way more, and then all New Zealanders getting some of that money back. It’s economically inefficient, discourages work and would result in NZ being a highly taxed country.
So Labour toying with it, is a sign that once again they are rushing to the far left, and would need a map to even know where the centre is.