In the wake of the proposed cuts to Newstart that will see the newly unemployed have to wait a month before receiving benefits and people under the age of 25 being forced onto Youth Allowance with a reduced income, Pirate Party Australia calls for the introduction of a Universal Basic Income.
“We live in an era of increasingly precarious work lives, people are losing jobs to manufacturers based in the developing world and increasingly to automation,” said Simon Frew, President of Pirate Party Australia. “The government’s response is to punish people who lose their jobs by forcing them to survive on no income for a month before they can receive benefits and forcing older people onto ‘Youth’ allowance. We believe there is another way.”
“We support the implementation of a Universal Basic Income to provide everyone with the means to survive, to get education, to try to set up their own businesses whatever they wish. Rather than forcing people into desperate situations or punishing them with made-up Centrelink debts, we should ensure that everyone has a place in society,” he continued.
The Pirate Party Universal Basic Income policy is based on the idea of applying a negative income tax, where every Australian is provided with a set amount each year, which is reduced at the tax rate until it reaches zero, at which point income tax starts to be paid. For more information see the detailed policy.
“This is part of the intergenerational war being waged on younger people by the government. With the cutting of TAFE funding, increasing HECS for Uni students, attacks on penalty rates, casualisation of the workforce, negative gearing cutting younger people out of the housing market, etc. the attacks on welfare add to a situation where young people are not being afforded the same opportunities as their parents. This is the first generation in Australian history where young people are likely to be worse off than their parents. This trend needs to be reversed. We need to ensure we support the next generation and work to provide a better life for all.” Mr Frew concluded.