Uni­ver­sal ba­sic in­come

The Irish Times - - Comment & Letters -

Sir, – Noel Whe­lan seems star­tled that Hil­lary Clin­ton was con­sid­er­ing a uni­ver­sal ba­sic in­come for cit­i­zens of the US as part of her elec­tion bid there last year (Opin­ion & Anal­y­sis, Septem­ber 15th).

The idea was to pro­vide ev­ery Amer­i­can with a ba­sic in­come whether they worked or not and would have pro­vided a floor against poverty.

The idea of such a ba­sic in­come for all is, as your colum­nist rightly says, not new but it has reared its head again af­ter the “great re­ces­sion”.

Swiss vot­ers, for ex­am­ple, over­whelm­ingly re­jected a pro­posal to in­tro­duce a guar­an­teed ba­sic in­come for all in June of last year.

The sup­port­ers of the pro­posal, which went to a ref­er­en­dum, had sug­gested a monthly in­come of 2,500 Swiss francs (circa ¤2,180) for adults and 625 Swiss francs (circa ¤545) for each child.

What­ever about the mer­its of pro­vid­ing a ba­sic in­come for all of a coun­try’s cit­i­zens, and there are many, it is un­likely to ever gain wide­spread trac­tion when thou­sands upon thou­sands of those in se­cure, pen­sion­able jobs, and whose only pur­pose in life is to re­dis­tribute in­come from the haves to the less well-off, would at the stroke of a pen have noth­ing to do. We couldn’t al­low that to hap­pen, now could we? – Yours, etc, TOM McEL­LIG­OTT, Lis­towel,

Co Kerry.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.