Basic Income Makes Basic Sense for Remote Indigenous Australia

In this essay, republished from the Green Institute’s ‘Can Less Work Be More Fair?’ discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and a shorter working week, Professor Jon Altman argues that a new Basic Income scheme has the potential to deliver remote living Indigenous people forms of alternative economy.

 

The employment situation in remote Indigenous Australia is a disaster. Even the optimistic spin peddled by the Turnbull government’s latest annual Closing the Gap report delivered in early 2016 (1) notes that only three in ten Indigenous adults in remote Australia are in work resulting in high welfare dependence, poverty and in some situations social dysfunction associated with inactivity. For many young people who experience even higher levels of unemployment, there is a deep sense of anomie and hopelessness about future prospects.

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