In The Black
The idea of a universal basic income has divided economists for years. Some argue that the payment offers a solution to poverty, while others say it would do little to address inequality.
At a glance
It should come as little surprise that the once-radical concept of a universal basic income (UBI) is now openly discussed among some mainstream economists as a possible means of reducing social inequality.
In April 2020 – a mere month into the pandemic – a YouGov poll in the UK found that 51 per cent of the public supported the introduction of a UBI, whereby all adults would receive a guaranteed monthly wage, regardless of their employment status.
According to Professor John Quiggin, vice-chancellor senior research fellow with the School of Economics at the University of Queensland, the renewed interest in a UBI is partly explained by a feeling that the economic path we are on “hasn’t really delivered on its promises”.
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