Forum > News and Current Affairs.

We're Rich!

<< < (2/2)

Sunny Clouds:

--- Quote ---UBI doesn't work for disabled because by default you need more than able-bodied do for basics.
--- End quote ---


UBI is a basic cost of living income.  It isn't of itself a maximum or excluding other forms of support, it's just that social security payment types and systems that aren't actually UBI can be called UBI and that can be used as cover for removing other support.

I want to explain this by illustration, apply the distinction to disability, then explain why I think the distinction matters in our fight.

The illustration - healthcare.  In some countries, healthcare is free, in some countries you pay for it, in some countries you pay for it but may get help if your income is low.

UBI of itself isn't a healthcare benefit or substitute for healthcare.  It's what I'll call a cost of living payment.  Thus if you live in a country where healthcare is free, then that's not an issue.  If you live in a country where you have to pay anyway, then giving UBI doesn't take away entitlement to healthcare, because you didn't have any. 

But if you live in a country where some people get free healthcare and some people don't, whilst in its pure form UBI wouldn't make a difference, because it's not a substitute for healthcare provision/cover, it can be used as an excuse by governments to take away healthcare provision for poorer people by disingenuously combining it with healthcare provision.  In our country, it could be used as an excuse to take away free prescriptions or free dental care.  But that would be distorting what UBI is for political purposes.

Applying this to UBI and disability.  UBI isn't a disability support payment.  It's a basic cost of living payment, and therefore disability costs are irrelevant to it.  However, UBI can be hijacked, and something which is not actually UBI labelled as such as part of the process of taking away different sorts of provision such as disability support.

Why the distinction matters.   I feel that it's important to make this distinction because I believe that when in future those of us that speak up on disability rights want to challenge what our government may try to do by way of introducing what I'll call fake or distorted UBI, we need to be able to challenge clearly.  It's not enough to challenge taking away our support and rights as disabled people, we need to be able to challenge any provision that's called UBI but isn't UBI.  Why?  Because if we don't, the government will be able to misuse statistics relating to the success of various UBI trials.  UBI that actually is UBI not pretend/fake UBI, can make a difference for the better for people. 

We all know our government is excellent at propaganda.  Look how they've sold the notion that only paying benefits for the first two children in a family is fair because it deters people from having too many children and expecting others to pay for them.  But it isn't punishing the parents, is it?  It's punishing the children.  I describe it as the only criminal offence in this country with an age of criminal responsibility of zero years minus nine months.  We have to fight UBI propaganda selling fake UBI as UBI.

ditchdwellers:
Thanks for the insight OtE.

I am very sceptical of A t W being fit for purpose have received A to W assessments in the past when I was working, and they really didn't provide the support I needed. It felt like the bare minimum so they complete their paperwork rather than what was actually going to support me in my work. I can't see a 'passport ' making things any better. 

As far as a universal income is concerned, I think it has shown not to be a great success in those countries it has been trialled in. I wouldn't put anything past this government to reduce the welfare bill though and definitely think it could be a way of quietly introducing widespread cuts.

Sunny Clouds:
I think I could sum up AtW and most modern benefits thus:-

"[name of sort of help] was devised to help people and at first seemed really good.  But over time, the criteria shifted, it was underfunded, impossible targets were set for staff, the public were flooded with nasty propaganda about fake claimants, and the net result was people who genuinely needed help having their hopes raised and dashed."

Mind you, as an aside whilst I'm rambly, I can feel the steam coming out of my ears every time I type the word 'benefit' and try to find a substitute.  Essential support portrayed by a word that's used for things like perks of the job, extras, nice things, more than your entitlement etc.  Like many, many jargon-changes in relation to social security and the rest of the welfare state, fantastic propaganda by nasty politicians.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[*] Previous page

Go to full version