In recent years and in many countries, the issue of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been discussed, and for the most part, dismissed.
Another issue, recently raised by Labor, and ignored by the Coalition, has been the almost obscene amounts paid by many wealthy individuals and corporations to cover the costs of managing their tax affairs. These amounts are eligible for considerable refunds as they are tax deductible.
There must be many Chartered Accountants who remember the Coalition’s tax policies in their nightly prayers and who are living a really good life!
Sorry, guys! The good times are coming to an end! At least if my idea catches on.
Now, in the current gig economy and for many lower paid workers, the need to self-isolate, for an individual who might have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, might mean a battle to survive financially. It may even mean a total long-term loss of employment.
The government is becoming more acutely aware of the dangers of a slowing economy and realising the need to put more money into people’s pockets to try to boost that economy.
Sadly, this government seems to have no long-term vision and only plans for short-term fixes, yet the growing awareness that climate change is real, that more disasters are becoming highly probably and that people are crying out for proper planning, cannot and should not be ignored.
So how does the UBI come into this?
If, instead of paying one-off lump sums to individuals, the government introduced a realistic UBI, then those without work, for whatever reason, would all have basic costs covered.
If this coincided with putting a realistic ceiling on the amount that can be claimed for the costs of managing tax affairs, as a preliminary for a long overdue revision of the tax laws, the cost of the UBI might suddenly seem more realistic.
I am sure that the archives contain records of all the research that has been put in, over time, in relation to the costs, benefits and processes involved in introducing a UBI, so we only need to dig the records out, dust them off and polish them up.
If the Coalition can grit its teeth and copy a policy from Kevin Rudd, then, surely, they can catch on to Malcolm Turnbull’s theme of innovation?
Joking aside – we really do need to look really seriously at the plight of an, as yet unknown, number of people affected seriously – and not necessarily only medically – by the Coronavirus.
The suggestion I am putting forward should not be brushed aside as unnecessary, given the number of unknowns with which we will be faced in the immediate future.
I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
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