Welfare and a Living Wage: Voices from the street – and the idea of a Universal Basic Income

Precarious Work Symposium – Living Wage Campaign

AUT Thursday 14 February 2012

Panel: Welfare and a Living Wage

Voices from the street – and the idea of a Universal Basic Income

Sue Bradford – Auckland Action Against Poverty

As part of the Living Wage symposium in Auckland this week, Sue Bradford contributed to the  ‘Welfare and the living wage’ panel  discussion on behalf of Auckland Action Against Poverty.
In her paper, Sue talks about why the question of a living wage is important for non waged workers and beneficiaries as well as for paid workers, uses the experience of the Onehunga ‘impact’ in December to illustrate  some of what’s happening for the people we work with  right now, and puts forward three key challenges for unions, church and community groups and political parties.
These  challenges include the need to go beyond researching and talking about inequality to actually working together across traditional political divides for real structural change that goes beyond focus group politics; the importance of all of us supporting the Living Wage campaign – but at the same time, unions and others must  recognise that unemployed workers and beneficiaries need and deserve a living income too;  and that it’s time to pick up the campaign for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) with renewed vigour, as we explore  long term structural solutions to poverty, unemployment and an increasingly unequal society. 
For anyone who might be interested in reading the full paper, click here: Voices from the street – and the idea of a UBI – paper 14 Feb 2013