Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Basic income theme of talk

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Lowell Manning.
Lowell Manning.

Imagine a world where no matter what you did you got a basic income and social welfare issues were a thing of the past.

Lowell Manning, president of Basic Income NZ, can imagine that world and has spent a long time working on the concept of a universal basic income for all New Zealanders.

He will be in Rotorua on Wednesday next week to talk about it.

Mr Manning, a 73-year-old civil engineer and company director from Paraparaumu, said basic income was now being considered seriously worldwide "because of the rapidly growing disconnect between work and income resulting from globalisation, automation and the resulting skewed corporate income structure".

He said there had already been successful trials of the concept, and a lot more larger ones were being planned in Finland, the Netherlands and elsewhere.

"A majority of the population in some European countries, like Finland and Spain, already support it.

"Basic income costs nothing at all if it is income neutral, where everyone gets the same net income after tax as they do now.

"I'm promoting basic income because it is the best way to address the growing disconnect between work and income whereby an increasing portion of the world's population has insufficient access to the goods and services the world economy can produce."

He said a basic income was an unconditional individual income regularly paid as of right to every citizen, including children. It would replace all social welfare and other social transfers, except for special needs payments.

"People should come to listen to me speak because the basic income will change their lives for the better and the first step to achieving basic income in New Zealand is for as many people as possible to find out about it and discuss it with friends, neighbours and colleagues."

- The presentation will be held at the Rotorua Youth Centre, 6 Te Ngae Rd next Wednesday from 6pm. It is free but a donation would be welcomed. Visit

- Rotorua Daily Post

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