What is a Universal Basic Income?

The whole point of this campaign is to help people understand the concept, so I thought for our first post we would start with the basics: What is a UBI?

A Universal Basic Income, or UBI, is a set income paid by the government to ALL citizens of a nation, whether they work or not, without any kind of means-testing. Generally it is set to a level that allows people to just cover the basics such as food and shelter without needing to do any other kind of work.

The main difference between a UBI and other forms of welfare is that it is guaranteed to all citizens, no matter how much they earn and people are free to spend it however they want.

Next week I’ll look at the pros and cons of UBIs in more detail but briefly, supporters say UBIs would allow people to pursue work or study they are passionate about. It’s especially important for people who become unemployed, an issue that’s only going to get worse as automation makes more and more jobs obsolete. However, other people say that this system would be more expensive than the existing welfare system and might be worse because it gives welfare to people who don’t need it.

I’m excited to look at this concept in more detail over the next few weeks, I hope you guys enjoy it and learn something.



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