WHY THE AUSTRALASIAN TRADITION OF LABOUR DEFENCE IS A BARRIER TO A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
By Jonathan Barrett
The principle of work protection or labour defence has traditionally informed welfare policy in Australasia. By promoting full employment and ensuring employees earn a living wage, government could foster economic security for the unionised workingman and his family. Nordic-style social insurance schemes, which were designed to shelter citizens from market uncertainties, were, in the main, unnecessary. In this patriarchal set up, protected and adequately paid workers could support their families, but could also afford to pay income tax and thereby contribute to the support of superannuated workers. Despite the dominance of neoliberalism, vestiges of labour defence, which privileges the status of employment over a broader conception of inclusive citizenship, continue to inform welfare. Responses to global mega trends, including technologically induced job retrenchment, may require a change in cultural attitudes to work and welfare. This article, which has a specific jurisdictional focus on New Zealand but has wider relevance, argues the tradition of labour defence presents a barrier to inclusive, citizenship-based welfare. In particular, cultural attitudes may militate against a universal basic income, which many believe will become a necessity in the face of potential mass retrenchment caused by robotics.
MAY BE A ‘BIT PLAYER’ NOW, BUT IN THE LONGER TERM A ‘GAME CHANGER’ FOR TAX
By Steven Stern
The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, has announced that the tax system is one of the key levers the government has to promote economic activity, and that tax is at the centre of the whole productivity agenda. This article draws attention to the major ramifications of technological developments in the monetary field for the capacity of governments to control the economic agenda, including tax. is the definition of ‘money’ is changing, and it might not be prudent for governments and their advisers to assume that levers to control the composition of tax which existed in the twentieth century will continue to be available in the coming decades of the twenty first century.
COMPARISONS OF TAX EVASION AND WELFARE FRAUD:
HOW WELL DOES POLICY IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND REFLECT PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO THESE CRIMES?
By Lisa Marriott and Dalice Sim
This study reports on attitudes towards tax evasion and welfare fraud. Data is collected in an online survey with 3,000 respondents from Australia and New Zealand. The results challenge the assumption that society views tax evasion as less serious than welfare fraud. This finding is important for the Australian and New Zealand justice systems, where policy settings treat welfare fraud as more serious than tax evasion. In highlighting societal views towards tax evasion and welfare fraud, the study challenges extant policy arrangements that allow for different outcomes where crimes result in similar harm.