“Pirate Party Australia is pleased to announce our basic income policy,” said NSW senate candidate Sam Kearns. “Technology is going to impact on work in many ways, abolishing many jobs that currently employ thousands of people. Work will become increasingly uncertain and many people will find themselves without the means to survive. We have a choice as a society, do we want to create an antagonism between workers and the machines that are replacing them? Or do we want to ease the social cost of automation by ensuring everyone has a solid economic foundation that reduces the economic and social damage of people losing their job?”
“The current welfare system is woefully inadequate to deal with these coming changes,” Mr Kearns continued. “Where other parties support people languishing on the dole, barely able to keep their heads above water, we propose granting all Australians a basic income regardless of situation. This will reduce the labyrinthine bureaucracy running our social security system and provide certainty for anyone unfortunate enough to lose their job.”
“Budget for this policy comes from disbanding the inefficient, patronising and punitive bureaucracy that currently exists around social security payments, as well as the removal of divisive government subsidies for the rich such as negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks. Basic income is inherently fairer than means tested social security because everyone is subject to the same rules and the same tax rates. This also solves the problem of the transition to work problem where a welfare recipient in the current system can be worse off financially for taking a low paying job,” he said. “Despite media portrayals to the contrary, research in the field of charitable giving has shown that poor people are actually very good at knowing the most effective way to use money to better their situation.”
“Basic income is the safety net for all the corner cases our current welfare system excludes. Consider a person working full time caring for a loved one at the end stage of their life. After consuming their leave entitlements, their options are to take unpaid leave or resign. Add the costs of treatment and support, and now the carer is placed in a precarious financial situation through no fault of their own. It’s a fairer outcome for people who find themselves in difficult circumstances through sheer bad luck and it’s funded via efficiencies gained through tax and welfare reforms” added NSW candidate Darren McIntosh.
“An additional benefit to a basic income scheme is that people who wish to attempt to innovate with new ideas, new businesses or startups can do so. If we are serious about supporting innovation, it makes sense to remove one of the biggest barriers to innovation – the fear of falling into the welfare poverty trap under the punitive scrutiny of Centrelink” concluded Mr McIntosh.
Pirate Party Australia are contesting the federal election on July 2 in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, running under the slogan “Transparency, Liberty and Digital Reform (or TLDR).