Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Craionastan’s economy is in a proportionally strong position, however many people in the country are not feeling that growth in their daily lives. People are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and facing “unsteady employment” with low job security or benefits. A basic income can bridge that gap and give people the security and opportunity they need to achieve their potential. Basic income  approach which is practical, affordable and capable, I believe, of winning the support of people from different parts of society and with different political perspectives. Universal Basic Income would provide more freedom of choice, a better work-life balance, enhancement of gender equality and expand choices between paid and unpaid work.  It would provide a solution to the mass unemployment that many argue will result from automation.  Also it would reduce the employment insecurity of young people.  Moreover, it’s  a universal minimum would overcome the problem of losing benefits when taking on or increasing employment.  Finally, it is ‘minimally presumptuous’, in that a Universal Basic Income entails no official enquiries into a person’s activities or household arrangements, in contrast to assistance benefits in many welfare systems. I am acutely aware of how difficult it can be to win the case for a change as far reaching and radical as a Basic Income. But I have also seen how ideas that have been around for many years, restricted largely to the margins of debate, can suddenly, in the right circumstances, acquire relevance and credibility. A rapidly changing economy and labour market, growing public concern about the workings of our welfare system, the aspirations of citizens, particularly younger ones, for greater freedom, control and responsibility are all contributing to a moment of inflection.The time is right for an idea which has had powerful advocates for centuries to move to the centre of the debate about the kind of country, the kind of government and the kind of lives we want in the twenty first century.Alexos Ulianokos, January 2018

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