Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking the Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's whether a UBI could work in NZ, and what the alternatives are. Hosted by Frances
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Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking the Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's whether a UBI could work in NZ, and what the alternatives are. Hosted by Frances Cook.
A rather radical idea has been getting more mainstream attention lately – the idea of a Universal Basic Income, or UBI.
There are lots of different variations of it, but in its simplest form it's the idea that everyone gets a set amount of money, no questions asked, whether they're working or not, and with no means testing.
Listen to the podcast episode here
It's a response to some fairly big problems in our society.
There's widening inequality, with some people becoming richer, but others becoming poorer and feeling stuck there.
Work is also more precarious.
The gig economy is of course notorious for resulting in unstable and low-paid work.
But even if you take the time to develop skills and build a career, the digital revolution is requiring us to change careers far more often than in the past.
It's all quite unsettling, and can lead to people facing difficult financial situations through no fault of their own.
So is a universal basic income the answer to these problems? Researchers in New Zealand have actually been looking into this, and the answer is; maybe.
Jess Berentson-Shaw, co-director of the think tank The Workshop, came on the latest Cooking the Books podcast.
We discussed the UBI strengths, weaknesses, and the possible alternative systems.
For the episode, listen on the podcast player above.