(English) Universal Basic Income – A Sceptic’s Story

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  1. Would it be possible to make an exception for students 18-21 at 100% of the UBI or a tuition fee swap, providing they are a) studying for a vocational/STEM/whatever else we’re short of qualification and b) both resident and studying in Wales? This would have the effect of both ensuring the survival of Wales’ educational institutions and providing a home-grown body of highly-qualified Welsh people to make them and our nation even more successful.

    1. There are a lot of details that would need to finalised – but I agree – that would be a good enhancement.

  2. You mention that the state pension is a form of universal basic income but you forgot to mention another one – child benefit. This is paid unconditionally to all parents (usually the mother) regardless of income.

    A basic income could also have another consequence that you have not discussed – the behaviour of employers. If an employer treats its employees badly (and far too many do) the employees can do very little about it. They can’t leave the job and go on benefits, if they complain they risk being fired, if they take another job (assuming they can find one) they take the risk of ending up with another employer who is even worse.

    If employees have a guaranteed income to fall back on they can take the risk of asserting their rights in the workplace or, if the employer is particularly bad, just leave. Instead of taking part in the race to the bottom in terms of wages and employment conditions, employers may find that they have to treat their employees with more dignity and respect or risk having such a bad reputation that they can’t get a workforce.

    One last thing – residency requirements. In my opinion this would have to be waived for refugees.

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