Luke Martinelli’s assessment of Basic Income is a serious, wide-ranging consideration of several of the arguments: among them, affordability, distributive effects, work incentives and political feasibility. There is more to say about administration, implementation and the relationship to existing benefits, but no-one ever covers everything.
He characterises the opposition to UBI as saying that “an affordable UBI would
be inadequate, and an adequate UBI would be unaffordable.” That’s not the whole story, either. I put the case like this in a video interview:
“If you limit the level of benefit you are still dependent on other benefits, so you’ll get all the problems of the tapers, the poverty trap, the intrusion into people’s lives and the complexity. If you increase the cost, then you can float people off those benefits – but what will you have achieved if you do that? … those people who were formerly on benefits will find themselves on the equivalent in Basic Income, and you’ll have spent nearly all the money to the benefit of people who weren’t on benefits – to people who are better off. So you have really got to decide, is it worth putting large amounts of money into a scheme which isn’t going to benefit the people you most want to help?”