From guaranteed minimum income to basic income: what might it look like today?

Crawford School of Public Policy | Tax and Transfer Policy Institute
Image sourced from Flickr by Auburn Alumni Association

Event details


Date & time

Monday 19 March 2018


Seminar room 8, Level 2,JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Miranda Stewart, Melbourne Law School and ANU; Ben Phillips, Centre for Social Research and Methods, ANU; and David Ingles, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, ANU.


Diane Paul
02 61259318

Co-hosted by the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute (TTPI) and the Centre for Social Research and Methods (CSRM).

This Seminar presents work in progress on the design, distributional effects and fiscal cost of a basic income (BI) scheme building on the proposals for a guaranteed minimum income for Australia by the Henderson Poverty Inquiry in 1976. A basic income has been advocated by some because of concerns about wage inequality and the possible ‘hollowing out’ of the labour force due to technological change. Important reasons for a BI include to improve adequacy, alleviate work disincentives and poverty traps arising from high effective marginal tax rates and to reverse complexity, conditionality and stigmatisation in social security. But designing and implementing a BI faces many challenges. The fiscal cost of a BI – the tax rate required to finance it – has so far prevented its adoption at an adequate level in any country. We investigate the design and modelling of different options for a categorical BI which could be a first step in the Australian context, and text tax rate and base reforms that could finance the BI in Australia.

David Ingles David Ingles PhD (ANU) BEc and MEc (Sydney U) specialises in public finance with particular emphasis on tax and social security. He has worked in various Commonwealth and State Departments (QLD), including the Department of Social Security (later FACSIA), the Treasury, and the Economic Planning Advisory Council. In the early 1980s he was an advisor to Ministers in the Hawke Government. Most recently he has worked part-time for the Australia Institute, specialising in tax and superannuation reform. His PhD is in public policy.

Benjamin Phillips Ben has nearly 20 years of experience in economic and public policy analysis work in Australia. Ben’s expertise is in the development of micrsosimulation models for the purpose of analysing tax and transfer systems. Ben also has broad experience in economic modelling, economics statistics and public policy in Australia. Ben worked at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (NATSEM) for 10 years and was responsible for the STINMOD model of the Australian tax and transfer system and undertook a broad range of analysis in areas as diverse as modelling the introduction of a GST, carbon price and analysis of the Federal Budget. Ben also has a strong interest in matters relating to housing affordability, superannuation and income inequality. Ben has previously worked as a senior economist at the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and was a methodologist at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Miranda Stewart Miranda Stewart researches tax law and policy, including taxation of business entities in the context of globalisation; not-for-profits; tax and development; budget laws and institutions; and legitimacy of tax reform processes and institutions nationally and internationally.

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