Topic: Social Work
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Basic income, also called universal basic income (UBI), citizen's income, citizen's basic income in the United Kingdom, basic income guarantee in the United States and Canada, or basic living stipend or guaranteed annual income or universal demogrant, is a governmental public program for a periodic payment delivered to all on an individual basis without means test or work requirement. The incomes would be:
- Unconditional: A basic income would vary with age, but with no other conditions. Everyone of the same age would receive the same basic income, whatever their gender, employment status, family structure, contribution to society, housing costs, or anything else.
- Automatic: Someone's basic income would be automatically paid weekly or monthly into a bank account or similar.
- Non-withdrawable: Basic incomes would not be means-tested. Whether someone's earnings increase, decrease, or stay the same, their basic income will not change.
- Individual: Basic incomes would be paid on an individual basis and not on the basis of a couple or household.
- As a right: Every legal resident would receive a basic income, subject to a minimum period of legal residency and continuing residency for most of the year.
Basic income can be implemented nationally, regionally or locally. An unconditional income that is sufficient to meet a person's basic needs (at or above the poverty line) is sometimes called a full basic income while if it is less than that amount, it is sometimes called partial. A welfare system with some characteristics similar to those of a basic income is a negative income tax in which the government stipend is gradually reduced with higher labour income. Some welfare systems are sometimes regarded as steps on the way to a basic income, but because they have conditionalities attached they are not basic incomes. If they raise household incomes to specified minima they are called guaranteed minimum income systems. For example, Bolsa Família in Brazil is restricted to poor families and the children are obligated to attend school.
Several political discussions are related to the basic income debate. Examples include the debates regarding robotization, artificial intelligence (AI), and the future of work. A key issue in these debates is whether robotisation and AI will significantly reduce the number of available jobs. Basic income often comes up as a proposal in these discussions.
- "Basic income" | 2009-08-12 | 37 Upvotes 56 Comments