Broad support for UBI
A recent survey found nearly two-thirds of Australians would support a universal basic income (UBI).
A UBI is essentially a cash welfare payment given to all members of a community regardless of income level.
The Government’s JobKeeper COVID-19 supplement happens to function very much like a UBI, giving flat monthly payments to participants regardless of what work they actually do. The major difference is that a UBI scheme would not require recipients to be attached to employers.
Research company YouGov has run a survey on behalf of the Green Institute, which is the official think-tank of the Australian Greens. It is analogous to the Liberal Party's Menzies Research Institute and Labor's Chifley Institute.
Over 1,000 Australians were asked the following question; “Unconditional income support is sometimes called a Guaranteed Living Wage or a Universal Basic Income. This means that just as we can rely on basic health care and education, everyone in a society has a guaranteed minimum amount of money that they can rely on. Would you support or oppose a guaranteed living wage being introduced in Australia?”
A total of 29 per cent said they “strongly support” the idea and 29 per cent “somewhat support”, suggesting total net support is 58 per cent.
Only 8 per cent said they “strongly oppose” the idea, while the rest of the responses were largely non-committal (10 per cent “somewhat oppose, 19 per cent “neither support nor oppose” and 6 per cent “don’t know”).
Tim Hollo, the Green Institute's executive director, says support for UBI was “remarkably even” across demographic groups including gender, age, income and employment status.
Support only dropped below 50 per cent only in the highest age bracket, with 49 per cent support among people over 75 years old.