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Big Ger - on 11 Oct 2017
Free housing, food, transport and access to the internet should be given to British citizens in a massive expansion of the welfare state, according to a report warning the rapid advance of technology will lead to job losses.

Former senior government official Jonathan Portes and academics from University College London make the call for a raft of new “universal basic services” using the same principles as the NHS. They estimate it would cost about £42bn, which could be funded by changes to the tax system.

The recommendations include doubling Britain’s existing social housing stock with funding to build 1.5m new homes, which would be offered for free to those in most need. A food service would provide one third of meals for 2.2m households deemed to experience food insecurity each year, while free bus passes would be made available to everyone, rather than just the over-60s.

The proposals also include access to basic phone services, the internet, and the cost of the BBC licence fee being paid for by the state.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said the recommendations would “help inform Labour’s thinking”.


https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/11/uk-universal-basic-services-jonathan-portes

The mind boggles; "inform Labour's thinking?!?!?!? Can they not come up with vote buying giveaways themselves?
SenzuBean - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> The mind boggles; "inform Labour's thinking?!?!?!? Can they not come up with vote buying giveaways themselves?

Do you really not understand the principles in action, or you do and just want to be controversial?

Big Ger - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

I understand the principles in action, I just cannot believe a sane political party would choose them to "inform thinking".
summo on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

It's only half the story. The idea was stolen from an r4 programme called 'the briefing room', where 3 or 4 people presented different approaches to future welfare. Strange how the paper hasn't highlighted the other models of reform.

Whilst everyone thinks people should be cared for, the funding element was shot full of holes. Perhaps HMRC needs to clamp down on tax dodging companies with accounts in countries like the Cayman islands... like say the guardian newspaper. Such a hypocritical rag and it's contributors.
Big Ger - on 11 Oct 2017
summo on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Perhaps their grill bar is where they all eat and it's doubled capacity to cope with all the medium rares being ordered.
Andy Hardy on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> [...]

> The mind boggles; "inform Labour's thinking?!?!?!? [...]

Think-tanks and lobbying groups do this for every party, although to be fair, in terms of election give aways, that does seem to be a whopper
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger: OK, lets take the story on face value. How do you qualify? Then , once you do and are settled in a free house, with free tv, free phone, free internet, free bus pass and one free meal a day, what incentive is there to get yourself out of the (very comfortable) hole?
What's the thinking behind how these free homes will just be a temporary stop gap/safety net rather than a permanent free lifestyle? "They said focusing on more comprehensive service provision rather than handouts would also mean there remains a strong incentive on citizens to find work." Where is the incentive?

I haven't read the report so it might all be in there

I'm supportive of the personal tax allowance being dropped to pay for it, rather than just hammering high earners. But with Labour having other very expensive ideas as well, i'm wondering if the tax burden will become so onerous as to make tax avoidance the new big money earner in the financial markets.
Postmanpat on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I'm supportive of the personal tax allowance being dropped to pay for it, rather than just hammering high earners. But with Labour having other very expensive ideas as well, i'm wondering if the tax burden will become so onerous as to make tax avoidance the new big money earner in the financial markets.
>
I'd love to know how all this would cost only £42bn. Bringing the NHS up to peer group standards and dealing with demographic related pressures would probably cost £40bn alone. So that's £82bn without blinking, or at least 11% on everybody's tax across the board. And then there's education, and transport and......

summo on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I'd love to know how all this would cost only £42bn. Bringing the NHS up to peer group standards and dealing with demographic related pressures would probably cost £40bn alone. So that's £82bn without blinking, or at least 11% on everybody's tax across the board. And then there's education, and transport and......

You've not been listening to Labour they can fund absolutely anything by growth, no more bust.
Big Ger - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I'd love to know how all this would cost only £42bn.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/as-graphic-moneytree.jpg?strip=all&w=796
wintertree - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Imagining 30 years into the future has long since convinced me that we need a strong and compassionate welfare state, and that we need to stop viewing unemployment as a negative.

The changes could be sweeping, making the frippery you link to irrelevant.

We should be planning for a world where most people don’t need to work 35-70 hours a week. If we just sleepwalk into that world, meanwhile making changes around the edges of an already dodgy welfare system, it’s not going to be very nice in the future.
wbo - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger: you might need to stop thinking that somewhere around 1989 was Britain's golden age , never to be beaten.

The UK economy is predominantly service and consumer based, and that requires people who can pay for services. Also a very high number of people in the UK have middle ability white collar office jobs - spreadsheets, distribution, organisation - most of these jobs are going to disappear, and a large lump of the population will earn less, go down in purchasing power? Who then will but these services?

The money tree thing is a bit rich. Given that we no longer have the gold standard, yes, you can print or make money, within limits. The UK economy runs on that principle
Big Ger - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to wbo:

> you might need to stop thinking that somewhere around 1989 was Britain's golden age , never to be beaten.

When have I ever indicated anything of the kind?

> The UK economy is predominantly service and consumer based, and that requires people who can pay for services. Also a very high number of people in the UK have middle ability white collar office jobs - spreadsheets, distribution, organisation - most of these jobs are going to disappear, and a large lump of the population will earn less, go down in purchasing power? Who then will but these services?

Nobody has raised these points, this is not relevant, so what does this have to do with the thread?

> The money tree thing is a bit rich. Given that we no longer have the gold standard, yes, you can print or make money, within limits. The UK economy runs on that principle

It was one of them "joke" things, get someone to explain it to you.

ian caton on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

It is, just, worth musing on the role of money in a society where robots do everything.

So if this report doesn't have the answer, what is the answer?

More begging I guess.
wercat on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to ian caton:

if Robots do everything then the means of production must be shared equitably - if everyone is then a producer then the proceeds can be distributed
Shani - on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:
> What's the thinking behind how these free homes will just be a temporary stop gap/safety net rather than a permanent free lifestyle? "They said focusing on more comprehensive service provision rather than handouts would also mean there remains a strong incentive on citizens to find work." Where is the incentive?

This is a riff on the old attack on atheists; "Without belief in God, what stops us all from going out raping and pillaging?".

Just as you don't need god to be good, plenty of people with no reason to work - the retired, the young and the wealthy, pursue endeavours of an artistic, creative, voluntary and philanthropic nature that contribute to society and local communities.

The policy of strong welfare forces money through the economy where it can 'do good' rather than being leached from the economy and shunted offshore.
Post edited at 11:41
Jon Greengrass on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to wercat:

I robots can do everything then humans will be exterminated.
wbo - on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to Jon Greengrass: oh they can't do everything but what they can do is a lot of what would be considered 'good' career jobs now. People will of course do other things but for most it will be a step down the ladder.
Working a bit with machine learning now and am constantly surprised with how much this game can be automated. If your greatest asset is your people, you obviously need to get them working as efficiently as possible, but they're expensive so you need as few as possible

In a future with a lot more 'zero hours', temporary contracts , you need an open mind to how most people will have more than a week to week economy

ian caton on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to wbo:

In a hundred or a thousand years time who knows.

"It will be a step down the ladder".

So presumably those all ready at the bottom of said ladder will need to jump off.
wercat on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to ian caton:

or fight
ian caton on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to wercat:

The means of production would be the robots.

Money, fundamentally, is used because there is a limited supply of stuff. If there is unlimited stuff, because of robots hypothetically, then what's the point of money.

Seems to me there is a whole change in the way society functions coming down the road, if we make it that far. Shame I won't be around to see it .
Jon Greengrass on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to ian caton:

Money is also used as a token for the exchange of labour/services, I think we will see a move to a pure service economy, where people will be employed doing the things that they don't feel comfortable done to them by robots e.g hairdressing, personal training, craft teaching, cooking and serving in restaurants.

Or perhaps I'm wrong and the majority will choose to put on their VR headsets and disappear into a fantasy reality while the robots trim their toenails and cater for their every need...
Dauphin on 14:27 Fri
In reply to Jon Greengrass:


Mostly 'Robots' will be A.I. so there will be plenty of manual labour for decades, it's the mid -high level tech specialists who will be unemployed.

D
BnB - on 15:03 Fri
In reply to Dauphin:
> Mostly 'Robots' will be A.I. so there will be plenty of manual labour for decades, it's the mid -high level tech specialists who will be unemployed.

> D

Developments in programming languages were expected to remove the need for coders back in the 90s. How's that going?

For some time yet, there will be new technologies for those so-minded to migrate towards, and plenty of legacy systems for the "dinosaurs" to work on.
Post edited at 15:30
Dauphin on 16:46 Fri
In reply to BnB:

Meant technical professionals rather than I.T. types / programmers.

D
Big Ger - on 23:26 Fri
In reply to wercat:

> if Robots do everything then the means of production must be shared equitably - if everyone is then a producer then the proceeds can be distributed

Some will always be more equal than others. Those who control the production of robots for example.
wercat on 09:54 Sat
In reply to Big Ger:

yes, everyone could get a free robot but not everyone would use it productively.

alternatively everyone could get am equal share of the all robots but there would still be those who used their time more productively to make or do stuff they could trade with others - but that would be only fair
bouldery bits - on 09:56 Sat
In reply to Big Ger:
I'll be fine ln the future.

They'll never not be a need for human bounty hunters.
Post edited at 09:58
Big Ger - on 23:03 Sat
In reply to wercat:

So those who wrote the programming for the robots, or designed their physical ability, would not own their work, no patents.
Shani - on 23:06 Sat
In reply to Big Ger:

> So those who wrote the programming for the robots, or designed their physical ability, would not own their work, no patents.

What if that were done by AI?
Big Ger - on 23:24 Sat
In reply to Shani:

Then we'd be doomed....

Probably become extinct as we'd have no role to play....
wercat on 09:27 Sun
In reply to Big Ger:

or to play would be our role
Shani - on 09:27 Sun
In reply to Big Ger:

> Then we'd be doomed....

> Probably become extinct as we'd have no role to play....

Interesting days!

https://qz.com/920468/artificial-intelligence-created-by-microsoft-and-university-of-cambridge-is-le...
Tanke - on 18:43 Mon
In reply to Big Ger:

It is fiddling around the edges you should have a full socialist econmy with all the means of productions taken into the publics hands, not wishy washy alchol free drink but full strength rocket fuel out of Antonov 124

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