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ISER Internal Seminar - Universal Independence Income, beyond a work-aholic society Internal seminar

“Modern technique has made it possible for leisure, within limits, to be not the prerogative of small privileged classes, but a right evenly distributed throughout the community.The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery.” Russell 1958, p.4

The aim of this paper is to investigate which are the welfare effects of introducing a Universal Independence Income (UII). The design of our proposal of UII is such to allow people to freely choose their job.

The aim of the UII we are here presenting is to allow everybody, disregarding the family background, to choose whether to work or not and to choose their job. In the current labour markets only people from privileged backgrounds have a certain degree of choice while people who cannot afford to stay out of the labour market are forced to accept any job in order to survive. The main beneficiaries of such a structured labour market are employers which can pay low wages, being always available a large mass of poor, unskilled and globalised workers ready to accept any job. This mechanism is further incentivised by all the various forms of income subsidy which are conditional on staying on the labour market, i.e. in-work benefits and all the other subsidies that are paid under the condition of activation on the labour market.

If the UII provided is high enough and it is expected to be received forever in the future, it could create the sufficient disincentives to paid work and should allow everybody to choose how to spend their time, reducing the attachment to the value of work itself and moving away the whole society from the ethic of work.

In this work we first simulate the model using EUROMOD with respect to the UK. Thus, we structure the UII such that it replaces completely the existing benefits. We set up a new tax schedule and, in the first round we will look at the redistributive effect of these two combined novelties. Keeping constant the tax schedule we then compare it with a standard UBI model.

This work moves from a theoretical explanation and justification of the form of UII we want to introduce followed by a fiscal simulation with respect to the UK using EUROMOD.

Presented by

Franco Bonomi Bezzo, ISER

Date & time

19 Jun 2019, 12:30

Venue

2N2.4.16 - ISER Large Seminar Room


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