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Summary would be an income for families with young children and a reduction in the superannuation rate. The details are a bit of a mess, (so the arguments will be about the details and not the concept as a whole), but those are reasonable places to start if you plan to introduce a UBI gradually. Equally though, that gradual approach is a way to see the idea die on the vine before it gets to being universal.
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Labour very comfortably won the bi-election in Mt Albert...

Labour - Jacinda Ardern: 10,000.
Greens - Julie Anne Genter: 1489.
The Opportunities Party - Geoff Simmons: 600.

(Yes - that round ten thousand is correct.)

TOP won't be very happy with that result given the National Party wasn't even standing, but at least it's near 5% of the vote which is the threshold for parties in New Zealand's general elections. And the voter turnout was only about 30%, so it's not as though Mt Albert cared much about this election.
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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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Although originally intending to be a list-only party, The Opportunities Party has decided to contest electoral seats after all, starting with the Mt Albert bi-election...

With both the Greens and Labour candidates already being list members in parliament and neither National or New Zealand First standing a candidate, TOP may actually do well here. It's certainly going to be a weird election!

TOP Topped

Dec. 18th, 2016 12:30 pm
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Rodney Hide, former leader of ACT, nicely skewers Gareth Morgan, leader of recently launched TOP...

TOP's greatest liability is probably Morgan himself, as he doesn't seem to have a clue about how he comes across.


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