A universal basic income should not be funded by taxing or depriving low- and average-income households of social benefits, the International Labour Organisation says in a new report on UBI options, including for low-income nations.
Universal Basic Income proposals in light of ILO standards: Key issues and global costing reviews a number of different UBI proposals, ranging from minimal, budget-neutral stipends to more expansive proposals for the advancement of social justice. The paper identifies the need for progressive and sustainable financing, including re-allocating energy subsidies or savings from reduced administrative costs of not targeting social protection. Increasing tax revenues, including from new taxes such as on financial transactions, or re-diverting aid spending – 0.68% of global GDP would eliminate poverty in low-income nations, the paper suggests.
It concludes: “In a nutshell, among the multiplicity of UBI proposals, some have the potential to advance equity and social justice, and others do not. Governments that consider implementing a UBI should carefully examine all options, including the progressivity or regressivity of the proposed measures.”