How about the accelerating degradation of our waterways from overfarming? The undemocratic takeover of Ecan?
You mean other than promise to hold democratic elections for ECan, campaign on that, put Bills in the Ballot to achieve that, stand candidates for ECan with an explicit mandate to work towards the return of full democracy at ECan, ...? Yeah, I dunno what Labour's doing about ECan eh.
Also, I don't see why you'd need a "controlled experiment" - that's obviously impossible. A pilot - to see if there's any horrendous downsides, or problems to fix - is a different matter.
Here's the bit from the discussion paper which frames up the "preferred option':
An alternative proposal would be to retain New Zealand’s progressive income tax system and GST; abolish existing welfare transfers but allow for supplementary transfers for disadvantaged groups; and pay a UBI of $11,000 to all adults over the age of 18. For the government to afford a UBI at this rate, including to all those between the ages of 18 and 20, there may need to be some changes to taxation policy to mobilise revenue. The top tax rate could be increased or further revenue might be gathered from other forms of taxation. This proposal would better satisfy precepts of fairness, by retaining progressivity in tax and rejecting any lower youth UBI. It would ensure some continuity with the tax system under the status quo. But more costing would have to be done to finalise the details of the revenue required. As well, doubts would remain about the adequacy of an $11,000 UBI.
So I think that sinks one of your assumptions - i.e there's no attempt to ensure no-losers via a universal payout, just via top up payments.
In reply: (1) Just to confirm everyone's stereotypes, the Economics Department at Canterbury does indeed buy a subscription to the National Business Review.
(5) you might say that.
(6) But plainly it has been made clear which of your assumptions are not the assumptions Labour are making: wouldn't it make your column more effective to meet the opposing argument on its most favourable terrain, not on the least favourable terrain?
How so? There’s no reason a future Labour government couldn’t implement a moderately redistributive tax policy like a fiscally-neutral $11k UBI .
[Whereas I very much doubt that you could practically implement the $86 billion policy.]
$86B-$43B is quite a big difference, you'd have to say.
Ah. See I think it is very clear that Labour will not in fact set the UBI at a rate high enough to ensure that you can eliminate other welfare schemes. (See 5.3 of Harris & Bierema.) Instead it will be set at, I would imagine, the level of the Jobseeker's.
Which leads to all the problems I mention above. But it doesn't lead to a $86B bill!
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the way Labour's handled this UBI stuff, but it is pretty clear that an $82B figure is, ah, driven by some interesting assumptions.
In fact you pretty much can cost the preferred UBI policy set out in the Harris & Bierema paper - probably an $11k pa UBI, probably no-one worse off in terms of current benefit rates achieved by the retention of supplementary payments to affected groups, probably a progressive tax system on top of that. Children's UBI not entirely clear but probably no.
I mean, it's not a fully costed proposal but you can put some bounds on it pretty easily. And helpfully you can eliminate claims like Labour will pay everyone $22,000 pa.
The critiques of the paper's UBI proposal are surely on the grounds of (a) $11,000 per annum underestimates the average Jobseeker rate by $2,000 because it leaves out the accommodation supplement and is even worse for people in expensive areas, (b) doesn't really eliminate W&I and therefore high EMTRs for people coming off any supplementary payments, which given it doesn't handle accommodation supplement may well include many Jobseekers, and (c) will involve substantial but not unprecedented tax raises for some comparatively wealthy people.
Not this rubbish about it costing a trillion dollars over ten years or whatever way of inflating it you have come up with.
I’m not sure where you’re getting your efficiency savings on a $11,000 per annum UBI.
$11,000 matches the base Jobseekers, but it doesn’t meet the Jobseekers plus Accommodation Supplement – Morgan had this at $2,000 pa on average for people on the old Unemployment in ’11. So either you have a system for paying the Accommodation supplement to most current Jobseekers (i.e very limited efficiency savings possible), or you cut rates for those on Jobseekers by 15%, or you increase the UBI to $13,000 with a consequent increase in the cost of the scheme from ~$19B to ~$25B.
When the Canterbury RC was put into commission, all the members of the authority were sacked, and the commissioners took over all their powers for all purposes, not just the water-related stuff. Unsure where local boards fall here, but I'd guess they'd be gone too.
You can appoint a crown manager that has limited powers and keep the elected members there.
(I personally can't imagine any government ever putting commissioners into the Auckland Council absent outright fraud by the CE and mayor or whatever, so what happens to local boards in that case will hopefully remain academic.)