Saturday, 15 May 2021

Very feeble attempt at a KCN from the Tories

The Welsh have decided to trial a UBI scheme.

Bravo Wales, but, predictably the Tories are against it:

But the Welsh Conservatives said: "The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is clear that UBI is not the answer to solving poverty, in fact they claim it can actually increase poverty."

Well, clearly it isn't the answer, if you are a Tory and the idea of giving money to the undeserving poor is anathema. I'm sure there are a tiny minority of cases where UBI can actually increase poverty, but this is just the tired old political tactic of "it's not the perfect panacea, so let's just continue with the broken system we've got,shall we?"

"The first minister needs to get on with kickstarting the Welsh economy, creating long-term, well-paid jobs for people rather than using Wales as a petri dish for failed left-wing policies."

Well we could trial it in Scotland, but the Tories have that reserved as a petri dish for failed right-wing policies like the Poll Tax.


MrMC said...

"the poll tax" oft quoted as the last white riot. the essence seemed to be those who did not want government to know where they lived, that has worked well

MrMC said...

It is ineresting when I get regular letters from local government that appear to be so concerned that members of my household have the right to vote.

My wife has no right to vote, also no right to medical care, fair enough, but £150 bill for emergency care did ranckle a little

decnine said...


Sobers said...

I'll bet it won't be a UBI, all they'll do is take a bunch of people already on benefits and give them more money. They won't pick an area and give everyone who lives in it the cash, and see what happens. They'll undoubtedly pick an area which is pretty run down so lots of the inhabitants are already on benefits, but they'll target who gets it, it won't be universal.

Bayard said...

D9, sorry, Killer arguments against Citizen's income, Not.

Bayard said...

S, yes never underestimate the power of politicians to cock things up, or to make sure that their evidence is policy-based. I expect what will happen in this case will come down to whether those implementing the scheme want to prove that a UBI "works" in terms or cost or outcome or both or to prove that it "doesn't work".

Mark Wadsworth said...

They are misquoting one or two particular articles that have appeared on the JRF website over the years. They weren't "clear" at all, they said "it might, depending on the numbers".

And, pray tell, how is the First Minister supposed to get around to "creating long-term well paid jobs"? Any hints from the ever helpful Tories?

That's a bit more complicated than simplifying the welfare system, and even if achieved, there would still be some people who can't earn enough to get by, for whatever reason.

Mark Wadsworth said...

There's another cracking KCN in one of the linked articles:

A DWP spokesman said: "A universal basic income would not work for those who need more support, such as disabled people and those with caring responsibilities.

There'd be a flat rate UBI for all adults.

As under the present system, there'd be top-ups for different levels of disability.

As under the present system, there'd be an additional flat rate UBI for each child (we could call it "Child Benefit").

Then there are all the overlapping schemes for providing or subsidising child care (including fiddly tax breaks), which could do with being merged into one flat-rate scheme (like the flat rate voucher scheme that John Major brought in) for all parents whose kids can't get a free place at a state-run pre-school.

Bayard said...

"And, pray tell, how is the First Minister supposed to get around to "creating long-term well paid jobs"? Any hints from the ever helpful Tories?"

Easy, do it like they do it. I know the £37Bn spent on the Track and Trace app all went in one go, but the same sort of thing, spaced out over, say, twenty years (that's £1.85Bn a year, so say, 10,000 jobs at £185,000 pa) would do the trick nicely. I'm surprised they haven't suggested it.

Lola said...

MW why child benefit under UBI? Surely child gets own UBI? maybe at a reduced rate and paid to parents until age 18??

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, good one!

L, 'Child Benefit' is (or was) a kind of 'Child UBI', that's what I meant. We don't need to invent 'Child UBI', it already exists.

L fairfax said...

According to the Spectator
"The Prime Minister had thought it best to introduce the Community Charge in one go. The Scottish Tories persuaded her otherwise. A rates revaluation was looming in Scotland. This was bound to be unpopular and likely to provoke a backlash against the party in power. So please, please, please, Margaret, can you no speed these boats and introduce the Community Charge in Scotland a year before it is levied elsewhere? As well-intentioned blunders go, this takes some beating."

I thought that there had been one and it was very unpopular which is why they introduced the poll tax in Scotland first.
The SNP then made up the bit about the guinea pig.
(Lets face it Wales would have been a better guinea pig).

Bayard said...

Thanks LF, I didn't know that, but it makes sense. OTOH, the people that hated the Tories for the poll tax, by and large, weren't Tory voters, unlike those who would have been annoyed with them because of a rates revaluation.