The big question: How would a universal basic income system impact Australian society and its economic recovery post-COVID-19?

11 August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented financial impact on most Australians. Countless businesses have ground to a halt as the nation has plummeted into a recession nobody could have planned for. If the huge queues outside Centrelink offices are anything to go by, Australians are suffering, and turning to the government for help.

To address the situation, the Australian Government introduced a suite of significant new welfare payments in March to buffer the financial fallout of the pandemic, including JobKeeper, JobSeeker (to replace Newstart), and a Coronavirus Supplement.

The move has reinvigorated debate around the idea of a universal basic income (UBI), and was discussed at a recent Brisbane Dialogues event, the brainchild of UQ alumnus Murray Hancock.

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