Products – The Centre for Independent Studies

UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea

Simon Cowan
05 November 2017 | RR32
UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result of technology, with advocates arguing that 47% of jobs are at risk from advances in machine learning and robotics.

However other estimates suggest that the number of jobs at risk is much lower, less than 10% on average. Moreover, the fact that some occupations are lost does not mean that the workers in those jobs will be permanent unemployed. In fact there is little evidence of technological unemployment in current employment data.

Yet there is a lot of evidence that a UBI would be unaffordable, with a 10 year cost of between $2.3 trillion and $1.1 trillion, depending on whether welfare recipients are made worse off. This is unaffordable with the current taxation system and would involve enormous additional taxation. All current proposals to raise additional revenue by both Labor and the Coalition combined would cover less than 10% of the cost of a UBI. Without a funding plan, a UBI doesn’t stack up.

 

BUY HARDCOPY – SOLD OUT

Email CIS if you want to buy a printed PDF
Alternatively Download PDF here

Mail: office@cis.org.au

 

Latest Publications

Beating lockdown blues: Students pass the Covid test
Glenn Fahey
25 October 2021 | RR42

Students have suffered educational disruption in combatting the spread of covid-19. Education policy and practice during the pandemic has faced uncertainty, with some a priori assumptions proven true, while others not. The research tests the following a priori assumptions of home-based learning against the evidence that is now available: Disadvantaged students will suffer educationally from a digital divide. Students will…

READ MORE
Mind the Gap: Understanding the Indigenous education gap and how to close it
Glenn Fahey
24 June 2021 | RR41

Indigenous educational disadvantage remains among the most pressing and persistent public policy challenges in Australia. Despite bipartisan and intergovernmental commitment to ‘Closing the Gap’, has done little to move the needle in education outcomes. Dispiritingly poor education outcomes persist despite the best of intentions, considerable investment of resources, and countless programmes and initiatives of policymakers. This research examines sources and…

READ MORE
Dollars and Sense: Time for smart reform of Australian school funding
Glenn Fahey
01 December 2020 | RR40

Australia is among the world’s highest-spending countries on schooling. Yet, the educational return on this investment for parents, taxpayers, employers, and students, has deteriorated — despite the expectation of policymakers that increased funding would inevitably improve educational outcomes. It’s true that money matters when it comes to schooling, but how money is used is what really matters, not how much…

READ MORE
Overcoming the Odds: A study of Australia’s top-performing disadvantaged schools
Blaise Joseph
18 March 2019 | RR39

Students from disadvantaged social backgrounds perform worse on average academically than more advantaged students. This study investigated Australia’s top-performing disadvantaged schools in terms of literacy and numeracy results, with the aim of finding any common policies and practices which have led to their success. Nine top-performing disadvantaged schools were visited by a researcher for this study, involving interviews with school…

READ MORE
Dying with Their Rights On: The myths and realities of ending homelessness in Australia
Carlos d'Abrera
12 December 2018 | RR38

The orthodox understanding of the causes of homelessness promoted by the ‘homelessness industry’ over emphasises the role of economic and social structures. Solutions based on structuralist explanations – such as increasing the supply of affordable social housing – are insufficient to reduce rough sleeping. Such approaches minimise the need to address assertively, the individual characteristics, choices, and behaviours of rough…

READ MORE