Feb. 22nd, 2017

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Geoff Simmons of New Zealand's new 'The Opportunities Party' (TOP) mentions the Unconditional Basic Income in an AMA on Reddit here... In fact he mentioned it three times...

"I should also say that the long term goal for us to create an Unconditional Basic Income. That way people would get a stipend from the Govt, and wouldn't lose it if they moved into work."

"Massive issue which is why we want to close the loopholes on the taxation of assets (including robots and algorithms!) and use that money ultimately to create an Unconditional Basic Income."

"The long term goal for us to create an Unconditional Basic Income. That way people would get a stipend from the Govt, and wouldn't lose it if they moved into work. We have an economic policy on the way, but the biggest part is honestly tax reform. NZ's economy would be transformed if our investment went into business not housing. Just look at Germany."


So, as I speculated about it here, a UBI is part of TOP's thinking, and I see it gets a mention in their tax FAQ...

"7. What about the UBI (Unconditional Basic Income – giving all citizens a regular modest payment, no strings attached)?"

"Our work there suggests that once we have closed the loopholes in the tax system then we have the ability to start to phase in a modest UBI, and reduce our reliance on targeted welfare benefits which are dehumanising and evidence tells us, makes poverty worse.

"But we must plug the major loopholes in our tax regime first. As you can see, this policy needs to be phased in over time, and the same will be needed for the UBI.

"As part of this package we will ask the Government of the day to have a holistic review of the tax and welfare system to develop possible pathways to implement the UBI. I am a huge fan of a UBI because it acknowledges the contribution to society from the 1 million people who work but don’t get paid. Without those folk caring for children, the elderly and our communities our society would collapse. The UBI is modest recognition of their existence."

The Reddit AMA was due to Geoff Simmons contesting the Mt Albert bi-election. It's a very quite affair apparently, but will be the first chance to see if TOP's getting any traction. That election's this weekend
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This is a test to see if my tags retain their upper-case letters. So, I'm tagging this post with "Testing a Tag"...

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