Basic Income New Zealand came into being early 2015 as a direct consequence of two talks by Professor Guy Standing given at a Humanist, Rationalist and Skeptics conference held at Havelock North on February 14 and 15. Professor Standing spoke about his most recent work and the concept of The Precariat and his latest book ‘A Precariat Charter’. The Precariat Charter lists 29 articles all seeking to restructure society into one where all citizens may live fulfilling lives.
Article 25 of the Precariat Charter specifically asks for a Universal Unconditional Basic Income which, as the name suggests, means that all citizens, including children, receive a regular payment, without any strings attached, adequate for all regular living expenses.
There are a number of proposals with regard to payment levels and sources of capital and a good picture can be gathered from visiting the websites of the now numerous organisations worldwide promoting UBI. The New Zealand BINZ website can be found at www.basicincomenz.org The website has links to BIEN, the Basic Income Earth Network, which in turn gives access to many other national organisations.
I refer you to Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
What do we do to reduce Inequality.
By promoting UBI we seek to make all New Zealanders aware that this is a real possibility.
Trials have been conducted in many parts of the world and invariably the outcomes were positive and the benefits huge.
Not only will there be a reduction in poverty but also all the social consequences of people living more dignified lives. Once awareness of UBI is widespread and work opportunity dwindles due to automation and corporate greed, the people of New Zealand may be ready to insist the government of the day implements UBI similar to what is happening in many other countries.
Not only will this reduce Inequality, it will also have great positive consequences in health, education, social interaction, crime and imprisonment, mental health and many more.
Lowell Manning at [email protected].nz