If there are so many benefits to a UBI then there must be a reason why they haven’t been implemented, right? There are a number of political reasons for this, but leaving that aside I wanted to look at three actual issues with UBIs.
Obviously a UBI would be extremely expensive. There are a number of ways this could be financed (which will be looked at in a future post). Some costs would be covered by replacing other forms of welfare but one of the most straightforward ways to finance the rest would be through higher taxes.
Between the higher taxes and the fact that you can get money for nothing, some people think that people would end up working less. A Canadian trial in the 70s showed some people did work less, but this was only mothers who could spend time with their families and teenagers who spent more time on their schoolwork. Not a bad thing!
However the most serious criticism of the policy (as outlined by UNSW’s own Dr. Gigi Foster) is that it wouldn’t be effective. The fear is that it would end up distributing a limited welfare budget more thinly than happens under the current means-testing method.
No policy is perfect and looking at the criticisms for it can only lead to better and more effective ideas, so if you think I have missed anything say so in the comments below!