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Guaranteed Basic Income: What Liberal Democrats Have to Say

More than 12,000 Californians are getting cash from guaranteed income experiments
Numerous pilot initiatives are being started by state, local, and private sponsors to provide low-income individuals with direct monthly payments to help them meet their basic needs. What follows will be studied by researchers. Will this funding supplement, restructure, or replace existing social programs? (Image courtesy of https://calmatters.org)

The introduction of a Guaranteed Basic Income was approved by Liberated Democrat members as part of a “radical and ambitious” new program for a more equitable society.

Members of the Liberal Democrat party voted overwhelmingly in favor of the idea of implementing a Guaranteed Basic Income, which would involve raising Universal Credit “to the level required to end deep poverty within a decade” and eliminating UC sanctions. This was referred to as a “powerful ambition to eradicate poverty.” 

Universal Basic Income Payments: $500 Monthly Payments To Arrive Soon

Universal Basic Income Payments: $500 Monthly Payments To Arrive Soon (Photo by Pexels.com)

Guaranteed Basic Income Explained

According to the Basic Income Earth Network, guaranteed basic income is “a monthly cash payment unconditionally distributed to everybody on an individual basis, without means-testing or labor requirement.” The child tax credit is different from this since it is only available to families with children, phases out at higher income levels, and still fundamentally requires recipients to demonstrate that they are “poor enough” to qualify for assistance—a means test. 

Scientific American pointed out that a more comprehensive proposal for a universal child stipend, put out by Reps Rashida Tlaib and Mondaire Jones, would do away with the means test. Compared to means-tested payments, universal benefits provide a number of advantages. 

They do away with the idea of “us” and “them,” eradicating the stigma attached to targeted assistance. By removing stigma and administrative barriers, the needy’s inability to get targeted assistance is enhanced. Since they are more widely used, universal benefits are often better financed and more politically stable. Moreover, universal benefits that do not need means testing are simpler to implement. Every kid would be enrolled in the universal child allowance at birth, ensuring that no child would be left out. 

ALSO READ: California’s Guaranteed Income Programs: Selected Individuals Will Receive Monthly Payouts Of $600-$1,200

Democrats See Benefits of UBI

Democrats see the idea as a bet on large government at a time when confidence in democratic democracy is at an all-time low, Washington Post said. For Republicans, it represents a return to the discredited welfare giveaways that encourage reliance and squander money. 

LeftFoodForward said members of the Spring Conference chose the Guaranteed Basic Income policy over the alternative of a Universal Basic Income. The most extreme alternative, the GBI, was touted as having a 50% reduction in poverty. 

The speakers for both choices engaged in spirited discussion, with the first option advocating for a Universal Basic Income to replace tax and national insurance benefits for working-age individuals. 

These proposals were included in the Fairer Society Policy that was approved at a recent meeting.

RELATED ARTICLE: Universal Basic Income In Michigan: Will It Fix An American’s Poverty Issue?

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