sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Gareth Morgan's TOP proposes universal income for 18-23 year-olds of $200 per week; Will scrap student allowances and living costs, and first $10,000 of annual benefits for the age group

Gareth Morgan's TOP proposes universal income for 18-23 year-olds of $200 per week; Will scrap student allowances and living costs, and first $10,000 of annual benefits for the age group

Gareth Morgan's The Opportunities Party (TOP) has proposed a universal basic income of $200 a week for 18-23 year-olds in New Zealand.

The policy would remove the need for the government to pay student allowances and living costs and the first $10,000 a year of any benefit people in the age group receive.

The $10,000 per person, per year, would cost $3.4 billion annually, although TOP argues that the final cost would be closer to $2.4 billion once student and benefit costs were removed, and the GST take from spending by 18-23 year-olds was netted out.

Read the full policy release from TOP below. You can read all published policies in our Election 2017 section here.

We acknowledge the fact that it’s not only people with families that matter but also people starting out in adult life who need support to help them reach their potential.

The Opportunities Party is proud to release an unconditional basic income for those aged between 18-23 years old.

For the first five years of adulthood, as people are striking out on their own, they have the security of $10,000 per year, no questions asked.

If you are between 18-23

You get $200 per week ($10,000 per year) no questions asked, no hoops to jump through, no bureaucrats telling you what to do.

You get to decide the best way to use the money, to pursue your own goals.

You will be financially better off under our policies. This includes your mates who are unemployed, students, parents, apprentices, artists, entrepreneurs, etc. Like we said all your mates.

This will take stress off you at a pivotal time in your life. NZ has an appalling rate of youth suicide and financial stress plays a key role in this.

This is the third stage of our UBI (Unconditional Basic Income) implementation, after young families and the elderly.


The UBI is a fundamental reform of our social security system that recognises that the economy is changing and work is becoming more uncertain. Unlike the current antiquated system of targeted welfare, the UBI doesn’t penalise people as they move in and out of work, start a business, or retrain. It doesn’t discriminate between different forms of retraining, such as official government courses or more informal approaches like shadowing someone on their job. It acknowledges the people who undertake unpaid work, without whose endeavour our society would collapse. And most importantly it represents a civilisation dividend wherein an affluent society defines a person’s right to access resources, irrespective of their situation. A backgrounder on a UBI is provided here. 

The concept of a UBI is gaining traction here and around the world. It was featured in the TVNZ series What Next as a way to deal with an increasingly disrupted job market. It is also being piloted in many countries around the world including the Netherlands, Finland and Canada. These pilots are exciting, but they overlook the fact that trials have already been done in the 1970s, and we have had a successful UBI for many years in New Zealand; NZ Super. TOP intends to give young people the same opportunities that we’ve been giving those over 65 for the past forty years.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)’s ultimate goal is to roll out a UBI for everyone. The reason for targeting 18-23 year olds next is because they have the highest levels of unemployment and face the greatest challenge getting into the labour market. This is also the age where New Zealand has some of the highest suicide rates in the world, brought about by the transition from nest to independence. We want to help young people with this difficult transition from school to training or work, and support them while they figure out what they are doing with their lives; whether they are setting out to establish their own businesses or extending their training.

Turning 18, the age at which many finish high school, is often seen as the point where our children begin to progress into adulthood. We know that there is still plenty of development to come, however the decisions made at this age can have a massive impact on the rest of their lives. Trade training, volunteering in the community, starting a business, university, work experience, artistic endeavour, starting a family, moving out of home, or simply taking time out to figure out the next step all come with a financial burden. The Opportunities Party (TOP) acknowledges this and wants to give all our young adults the opportunity and security to make good decisions about their futures.

Labour plans to give everyone 3 years free tertiary education and NZ First wants to write off student loans. We don’t presume to know what is best for our young people and there are many traps with tertiary education nowadays. For starters, funding tertiary education is middle class welfare, as most of the people that go straight into university are the children of the well-off. Not funding those who choose another path is arbitrary and discriminatory. Several of the most successful tech entrepreneurs globally and in New Zealand for instance were university dropouts. University education is no longer a precursor for success in the modern economy.

And of course the courses offered up by Universities have not moved on much from the era when University education was pretty much a “free good” for those who qualified. Now that the price has risen one would expect the demand for it to fall – meaning there is a higher proportion of young ones for which University is quite an inappropriate option. Our “Youth to Young Adult” UBI recognises this, whereas as University fee subsidies do not. For some people formal training works, but that isn’t the case for everyone. Some people will want to set up their own business, others will want to learn from a mentor or on the job. Everyone should get the same support. 

So how much will this policy cost?

There are around 337,780 people in this age group. Giving each a UBI of $10,000 would cost around $3.39 Billion per year.

-        Number of New Zealanders 18-23 – 337,780

-        UBI Level - $10,000 per year after tax

-        Total cost of $3,388,800,000

However we have to take into account what this age group already receives. Around $284m is currently received by this group in benefits. The UBI would replace the first $10,000 (after tax) of benefits received by 18-23 year olds. The benefit of the UBI to this group as opposed to targeted benefits is that people would not lose it if they moved into paid employment.

Currently the government also spends $500m on student allowances and another $150m on student loan living costs (i.e. the cost of borrowing on the loans) each year. Around 41% of people at university are aged 18-23, so we can expect to save around $267m there.

No one aged 18-23 would be worse off, and in fact those on student allowances and jobseeker support will be better off than they are currently. Of course all those not currently receiving any benefit will also be better off. It is particularly worth noting that there are 20,000 people aged 18-23 who are not in education, employment or training and are not receiving a benefit.

Therefore the additional investment to implement this policy comes to around $2.8 billion. This does not factor in the increase in GST take that we would expect to see from this money being spent; around $424m is likely, which drops the cost to $2.4b.

The funding for this will come from National’s $2b Family Incomes Package ($2.5b if we are comparing apples with apples, as they have factored in the increased GST income into that total), with the remainder ($0.4b) coming from the projected budget surplus of $1.6b in 2017/18 and rising from there.

Labour’s proposed 3 years free University would cost around $1.2 billion per year when fully implemented (2025), just for course fees for students. It will not affect the existing living allowances and course-related costs meaning students will still have to borrow to live, which as detailed above costs around $650 million per year. Many students also report struggling to support themselves and Labour’s policy will not prevent that. New Zealand First’s proposal is to wipe student loans and offer a universal student allowance, and would cost $4.6b per year. 


The UBI is a revolution in the way a modern society operates. In time it will allow for a major reduction in targeted welfare and associated administration and compliance costs. More importantly, however, it is about enabling people to make more choices, to find their own paths and to cope with the rapid flux of a workplace that must be responsive to technological disruption. There is just no way bureaucrats can design complex systems (big data or not) that can cope with all situations in a cost-effective manner. Targeted witch-hunt welfare is dead, long live the UBI revolution.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


All their policies make sense to me except UBI. It might be a deal breaker for me.


Why not?
It's an excellent concept. It doesn't matter if you are on the right or the left - in the context of NZ it achieves the goals of both.

This will be a game changer policy if it gets disseminated well.
On the other hand more likely than not you'll get the (DGZ) village idiot Mike Hosking berating it.

UBI is a very nice idea, a minimum income for all. I don't like it though because, in simple terms, it takes from people who work and gives to people who don't work, which history tells us, is a losing strategy.

"I don't like it though because, in simple terms, it takes from people who work and gives to people who don't work"
Interesting perspective from you - sort of sounds like NZ's property market to me..

That would sound more like last years property market.

In the not too distant future we are going to have to look seriously at a UBI as technology and machinery takes more and more jobs and fewer and fewer well paying, reliable jobs are available for people. When that does come around it will the machinery that is taxed or the ownership of it changed in order for this to happen. It will not be possible in the future for the majority of people to earn enough to provide the necessities of life which of course, will lead only to unrest. We are seeing the beginnings of it already.

Unemployment already provides a brake to prevent run-away automation rendering us all unemployed, allowing job creation to gradually fill the gap. UBI may well be the cause of mass unemployment rather than the cure.

Why not ? -moral hazard.

What moral hazard?

I think they mean having morals. They don't want to care for the well being of the community, caring costs too much.

I guess for me there's the moral hazard thing where people won't bother getting a job, but more importantly won't it just lead to inflation? and why not just give tax breaks? quite open to be convinced that it is a good idea, just struggling at this point.

Disincentivising work is what targeted benefits do. A UBI doesn't on the basis that it is non discriminatory as to how much or how little you work.
Given a minimum wage and no wage pressure on employers, how does income for 18-23 year olds decrease?

Inflation impact will be benign as it isn't new spending - it's just reassigning spending.
Tax breaks are only good so long as you have income. The point is that this group doesn't have a substantial income.

TOP is clearly targeting/bribing the young vote. NZ First and National already have the old vote wrapped up with a UBI for over 65. TOP are seeking to tap the young vote as they wont be paying for the bribe (again Gen X will foot the bill) and would be willing to get off their proverbially and vote if an easy $10k is on offer.

This is a "fresh approach" not the tweaks Labour/Greens are proposing. Whether it is a good idea or not is a separate idea. For me a UBI rather than all the forms of social welfare is probably the way to go.


... one of the grand features of the UBI is the incredibly big saving from cutting out many of the functions of WINZ , and a few other government departments .... Social Welfare ... some of the IRD's army of bureaucrats ... what's not to like about that ... a smaller public service ...

I agree, but the problem is that now TOP have 3 separate UBIs. Kind of defeats the point if you ask me.

But I think they are all set at the same level - which more or less is a step toward universality.

UBI only works if it is a universal system. A piecemeal system has all the complexity of a welfare system with all the costs of a UBI.

It is probably one of the only TOP policies I like, but they need to just bite the bullet. Put out a UBI, scrap all welfare - and show the benefits of doing so.

"UBI only works if it is a universal system."
Based on what, exactly? Experience?

"A piecemeal system has all the complexity of a welfare system with all the costs of a UBI."
How so?
If you fall within this bracket, you get $200. No questions asked.
Seems pretty bloody simple to me.

Who administrated the $200 payment? Can you have debts deducted directly from it? Do new migrants immediately qualify? How does the administrative body get your bank details? Whose responsibility is it to notify them of deceased individuals? Is there any penalty for collecting and using the benefit of a deceased individual. Are you still eligible whilst living overseas? Are you eligible while on a working holiday in the U.K.? Whose responsibility is it to notify the administrative agency that you are overseas?

A UBI replaces benefits. He is not replacing benefits, he is simply dishing out more money.

"The funding for this will come from National’s $2b Family Incomes Package ($2.5b if we are comparing apples with apples, as they have factored in the increased GST income into that total), with the remainder ($0.4b) coming from the projected budget surplus of $1.6b in 2017/18 and rising from there."

I wasn't questioning where the money was coming from. I was pointing out that UBI replaces benefits. It should not be in addition to.

A benefit + $200 a week is just asking for trouble.

"The UBI would replace the first $10,000 (after tax) of benefits received by 18-23 year olds. The benefit of the UBI to this group as opposed to targeted benefits is that people would not lose it if they moved into paid employment."

Anyone receiving a student allowance and accomodation benefit already gets more than $200 per week. As such they would all still need the old administrative system. Can someone itemise the administrative savings from this policy?

there is no saving !!, it is BS .... using the same or part of the money paid to the same people in a different scheme and under a different name to make a stance - there isn't much to scrape at the bottom of the barrel really so everyone including TOP is just trying to justify their existence...I am certain that they have no one who have actually assessed the detailed costs of all this as that would take a long time and needs a lot of homework and expert advice as they are and never been in Government, hence my earlier comment, it all BS.

I am so happy for TOP, I hope they can take away as much votes as they can from the L/G and God forbid WP's lots ...

Honestly , the closer we get to election day the more ridiculous last minute policies start coming out of the dark caves ( like retiring at 65 again !) ... stepping back from affiliation
to any political views and looking at last minute policies just proves how ill prepared and thought off this election is by the opposition as they are all racing to dish out half-cooked reactive policies to whatever they can rename, tweak, twist, or just simply abolish. this Fever is simply laughable and I am certain it wont get them the undecided votes they all desperately need.

Just my observations ~~

An interesting idea, but I really wonder about their (current) stance on not raising taxes, even for a very limited basic income like this one.

Read how they are paying for it..

Definition of bribe
: money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust police officers accused of taking bribes
: something that serves to induce or influence offered the kid a bribe to finish his homework

NZ one of the least corrupt countries in the world.....because bribery disguised as pollicy is not an illegal offence......

All TOP's policies appear to be anti working age, retired and anyone who has built up assets.....strange lot of people they are.

"All TOP's policies appear to be anti working age, retired and anyone who has built up assets.....strange lot of people they are."

How so?
Give us an example...
All of TOP's policies have been designed for universal equity. To say that they are the above implies that you believe the specified age groups have some unequal advantage.

Universal equity?

What about a 25-65yo working homeowner?
No UBI (at least TOP haven't mentioned this group) and you pay extra tax on house

An interesting future. From 18-21/22 use your $200 to fund study. Get your foot in the door and earn a bonus $200 a week for the first few years in life. Gives you a good solid financial base, so as soon as you hit 24, you can head overseas avoiding all the TOP penalties for the rest of your working life.

I think we would see Brain Drain 2.0.

You'll always have some leeches who want to suck from the system what they can then not contribute to society after that. We've seen an entire generation receive free education, affordable housing etc. then let those things fall by the way so they can contribute less in order to receive lower tax rates.

Where is this entire generation who received free education RS? You are making it sound like everyone attended Uni when in fact percentage wise there was very low attendance in comparison to day when everyone can attend.

Lets fix housing.....because that generation you talk of who were able to buy affordable housing didn't have to contend with the RMA, the Building Act and Councils were somewhere you threw in the plans on a piece of paper and you could build your house yourself.........Then there were the hideous tax rates of the pre 1986/87 tax years........the government has always taken what it liked when it liked and it has always that the people have to work around the constraints imposed......would you prefer to pay 50 or more percent income tax and then sales taxes at some outrageous level? You can't compare the generation by todays rules and regulations.

True - some went to university and some had companies train them straight out of high school, and none were indebted by it. And those born in the 60s up to about 1970 (a high number of which went to uni) got other handouts on top of fees. Companies aren't hiring high school grads these days, unfortunately, meaning almost every young person must take on debt.

Yes of course, it took higher taxes to pay for those handouts - including things like cheap Housing Corp loans and government builds that went into making housing affordable. Factors like these were key in achieving the high rates of home ownership enjoyed up till recently - and we should certainly be aware of the past when we think about contributing vs. taking - especially when approaching retirement and a time of receiving once more.

Or, for example, when thinking about affordable housing outcomes for young and upcoming generations of Kiwis...because maybe houses aren't all about being just a goldmine for those born at the right time to benefit from earlier government builds, Housing Corp loans etc., then later soaring in prices.

We do need to eliminate the uselessness that is current council practice, agree. And the current building supplies duopoly needs to be broken.

We could do with looking at providing social welfare on the basis of need, too...currently we're giving half our social welfare budget out regardless of need, in many cases to multi-millionaire old folks.

In 1981 there were over 50,000 students in tertiary institutions in New Zealand, from memory there were 6500 or there about at Victoria University in Wellington and a polytechnic, there are now 21000 students at Victoria University, thousands at Massey and the old Polytechnic with a few thousand more. 2% of the population had tertiary degrees, you make it sound like everyone born in the 60's and 70's got a free tertiary education whereas the actual number was quite a lot lower and that's why it was free. Not many got UE. I am sure that we could still provide free education to the same percentage of the population that went to Uni in the 70's and 80's. But that would mean downsizing the Universities.

Downsizing the universities by raising entry standards sounds like a great idea to me.

Yes considering the value of uni is the qualification and not the education just so you can bypass the cv filter.

Yes, anyone who chose to go got it free, plus generous allowances, and it also wasn't a prerequisite for employment so fewer went to university and instead were trained by companies. There were 138,500 graduates of tertiary education in 2015 (excluding international ones),out of a population of 4.5 million...not that massive a difference in percentage, certainly seemingly achievable.

There were almost 360,000 enrolled any tertiary education in the same year, suggesting an imbalance, so yeah, we should probably look at reducing the number who enrol but don't graduate, including by preempting enrollment.

Some problems:
1. Universities seem to prioritise running as a business, with a massive focus on increasing enrollments including internationally.
2. Companies are demanding minimum tertiary qualifications, not hiring out of high school. Some of those who proclaim "In my day I went straight from high school into a job" would need to start hiring similarly. I imagine a good number of that 360,000 above are in more job training oriented courses... effectively training costs being outsourced to students and taxpayers.

Anyone who chose to go? So there was no restriction on the number of places available, no entry requirements?

UBI is unfair Nymad because it takes from people who work and gives to people who don't work

I agree Yvil Superannuation is stealing from those who are working and paying taxes. UBI should be cancelled for those 65 and over as they are too lazy to work.

Hang on a moment dictator.....hardly a fair comment.........remember the government has been stealthily removing money off the working people for years........what if this generation went bugger it we want our tax monies back then because we paid all the taxes and dues along the way.

Don't let the argument sink into one of generational warfare when it is political policy that always creates a divide!

All I was doing was applying Yvil's philosophy. Not wanting UBI for 18-23 yo and the associated community and economic benefits is generational warfare. Why hate the next generation of workers? Why intentionally make access to the money difficult when they'll receive it anyway via unemployment, student allowance or whatever?

dictator, I was talking about all UBI, not just UBI for students or for any age group. Please re-read my comment

It's also weird because it takes from people who work, and then gives it back to them- seems kind of inefficient to me

I disagree. It takes from the available taxes and gives to everyone.

In future those taxes are likely to be corporate based and GST, after all the robots replacing us wont be paid an income.

nymad.. dictionary definitions:

equitable... 'fair and impartial'
universal... 'relating to or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases."

you know... there is nothing equitable about TOPS' imputed earnings tax.. eg. An elderly woman living alone in her family home of 60 yrs is charged Tops wealth tax which she can't pay... SO.. IRD set up a reverse mortgage for her and start charging her 8% compounding .. ( use of money rate ) ... If she lives another 20 yrs, ... her estate will have been sucked dry..
( also... in my view, much of the socalled capital gains in the locational value of land are a function of unfettered growth in money monetary inflation.. eg. M3 was $85 bill in 1985 and now is $300 + bill )... ( SO... it is drawing a very long bow to argue that this woman is somehow avoiding tax, or has some kind of a tax incentive,,.. in my view ) )

I really liked Gareths idea of a " universal basic income" ( the big kahuna) because it truly was universal.

I like the idea of a "land tax"... ( land being a metaphor for ALL God given natural resources , .. land being one of these.. These resources belong to our forefathers, to us and to future generations ie.. we are guardians and custodians )

I also believe that the private banking system should NOT be the ones to create new Money..
Maybe the best way to increase Money Supply is by way of distributing new Money as a component part of a UBI.

I also believe "No man is an Island" .. The wealthy and successful are only able to become so within the wider context of community and Nation . I don't think there is anything immoral with them paying proportionally more tax than an average person. ( thou I would not pervert the use of the English language by calling this "universal equity" )

As an example of the "philosophy" of a "land tax"... Do the fisheries, as a natural resource belong to us all.. ie. NZ.. ??
If so, ...then should NZers' pay export prices for fish..?? Should they pay the same as consumers are prepared to pay in richer Nations..??
Should only surplus production be exported ..??
Should there be a higher "royalty/Land " tax on Natural resources that are exported..??

I'm just asking questions.. ( Norways' evolution in managing its oil resources, comes to mind. )

It just puts off growing up. Quite a destructive signal to send to young folk at this formative age. This just extends the problems created by student allowances and the student loans. I know lists of young people over the years, including relatives who have ended up at university, with no idea of what they were doing there, except it was an income and everything else useful they could do was a bit harder.
Why undermine the kids in this way ?

I guess you could argue that a universal superannuation sends a destructive signal to working age folk too, in that they don't have to take responsibility for their retirement. You see this with older folk who think they're absolutely 100% entitled to have young people pay for their retirement lifestyle regardless of need, whereas younger folk are expected to take responsibility via their KiwiSaver.

NZS hardly "pays for a retirement lifestyle". Assuming you own your home, it is just about enough to keep you from starvation and hypothermia.

As for "younger folk are expected to take responsibility via their KiwiSaver" - no, they are not. KiwiSaver gives people the opportunity, on very generous terms, to save up additional money for their retirements. It's not compulsory.

Of course it is possible that a future Government will take away NZS and leave future older people to rely only on their own resources, including KiwiSaver. But that is not currently the policy of any of the political parties.

Young people are being socialised to the strong likelihood that they won't have super when they get to that age, with Kiwisaver to be the main plank (if you don't believe it, get out and get to know some). It's exactly a way of putting in place a buffer that can replace super if desired. Unfortunately National has also been significantly weakening even this measure that helps young people, via:

- $1000 kickstart removed
- member tax credit slashed from $1040/yr to $520/year
- employer contribution cut from 4% to 3%
- employer contribution tax introduced so you only actually receive 2%, the govt pockets 1% of your salary for itself (another example of National increasing taxes after promising not to)
- regulations loosened so employer contribution can be considered part of you total remuneration, effectively meaning you pay the 3% employer contribution out of your own paycheck.

For folk who have plenty of money and their own land, the pension is an unneeded luxury, given regardless of need, but instead free money for spending on whatever.

Young people are being socialised to the strong likelihood that they won't have super when they get to that age That brings to mind the saying 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'. I'm considered a baby boomer and about 17years ago the MOTH and I thought it would be the same for us, so set about providing for a retirement strategy that would be funded solely from our endeavours and no govt super. We are not yet at retirement age and are still planning on there being no govt super for us, though that is looking less likely - perhaps it will be means tested in which case because we set about many years ago forward planning we could be unlikely to get anything.

Their thought is that all young people should receive a living allowance without the need to register for study - in other words it creates equity between those studying and those not studying. So, in terms of your concern that some people enter tertiary study for no good reason other than to collect the student living allowance - this would go some way to discourage that.

It would also create equity between young people who choose to work and those who choose not to .
It must be a concern that some people enter work for no good reason other than to collect a salary - this would go some way to discourage that.

? Those between 18-23 would get the payment whether they work or not. I can't see how that discourages work ethic at all. In fact, taking the weight off young shoulders is what we as a society need to do to encourage aspirational work, rather than getting any old job just to survive?

No, it doesn't "create equity". It exacerbates inequity between those who choose to work and those who choose not to.

Those who choose to work under the TOP approach, get the UBI plus their wages. Those who choose not to get the UBI only. So those who choose to work are better off than those who choose not to, by an amount equivalent to their wages.

As opposed to the present position, under which those who choose to work get their salary, and those who choose not to get a benefit. So those who choose to work are better off than those who choose not to, by an amount equivalent to their wages minus benefit levels. The difference is less than under the TOP proposal.

There goes demand for arts degrees with a major in sock puppet theatre then

I think the underlying basis of a UBI is a great idea.

But to receive the full benefits of a UBI system it must be implemented in one step. Phasing in bits here and there based on Age and Need is just a needless restructure of the current welfare system.

Too young for the NZ Super (and it will be gone before I'm 65) and I'm too old for this. Guess I'll keep paying $1000 in Tax each FN and not get a cent in return (not even WFF etc.) Thanks guys.

Don't be a grouch, TOP will give you the opportunity to pay tax on your assets even when they drop in value. Isn't that what you always wanted?

All in favour of this provided it also applies to 60 to 65 year olds who cannot get jobs.

of course it will. i think it will be subject to a lot of abuse though, rents might go up $200 a week in auckland for instance.

Boomers and Gen Xers with 18-23 year old kids at home can look forward to getting some board money.

I have a sneaky feeling a few will see it as another opportunity to extract from the younger generations, yeah ;-p

yep - anytime you walk past a beggar and do not empty your wallet into his hat - you are stealing from him.

Dream on! Those boomers can look forward to their millenials blowing 10grand on Iphones and airtickets pa, and they still won't leave home or pay their bills

I agree, I don't see any boomers collecting board from their kids. They don't seem interested in demanding it or kicking their kids out if they don't pay. Could there be some generosity going on?

Okay , I am a Baby Boomer , so I am a strongly opinionated sort-of-old codger .

You cannot just give anyone $10,000 a year with no strings attached.

If they want the $10,000 then surely they must be in training or in an apprenticeship ?

We cannot just give it to the NEATS who will likely just carry on sitting on their backsides and not get a skill

You need to start looking at this with the eyes of the future, not the eyes of the past, because things will not be anything like they were in our younger days.

Of course you can - we do it for the over 65s right now. There are no strings attached to National Super and it is funded out of current taxes. Exactly the same principle. Suppose you had received this when you were 18. Would you have worked less? No, of course not. Why do you think everyone else will?

In the video TOP say they want to give UBI to students because we have a high rate of suicide. Suicide is indeed a tragic end but money given freely to spend on whatever a youth wants, does NOT help to lower the suicide rate. I would even argue that some (only some) students may use that money unwisely on booze or possibly drugs, and this could worsen the suicide rate

What do you fear the most? That it might work? Or that as a country we would be prepared to try new things? If they don't work out then we change them, rather than maintain the same broken systems in place now.

While you claim that it wouldn't help the suicide rate I don't think you're correct in that assumption. What does our current social welfare system do? It takes up a large amount of time so that people have to spend 20 hours per week with ridiculous WINZ administration and if they don't understand the convoluted systems they have their benefit cut off. That sends a message that the Government thinks they're worthless and that their time is better spent fighting administrative processes than looking for work or starting a business.

We also have to question why we have a system that concentrates on denying food and shelter to not just young people starting out their adult like but denying those human rights to families and small children. We need to look at what's wrong with our society, not just the Government.

I'm pretty sure we don't have a system that concentrates on denying food and shelter to young people, families and small children.

Dictator, you make some good points and I appreciate what you say. Ultimately I do disagree with you, I'm a parent of teenagers and giving out free money with no questions asked is, in my opinion, definitely the wrong way to go

True that.

We should only give free money to property investors via income tax offsets and accommodation supplements.

And everyone over 65.

You understand though, that if lot's of money already gets given out and $1 extra is spent for every $2 that goes out, you're making money if more people get it, with less hoops, if it costs $2.50. That's why the universal super is actually better value than means testing.

In the video, TOP say the students can spend the $10'000 pa on whatever they want and they need to do absolutely nothing to get the $10'000 (no strings attached). What does that teach a youngster who has not yet joined the work force ?

A long time ago I went to uni and my fees were paid and I was given a modest student grant (not loan!). It didn't stop me looking for a summer job.

Good on ya Bob, well done

a long time ago I went to Uni fee-free but with only a tiny amount per week $13pw from recall cos I was in my home town so expected to live at home (yeah right) worked in restaurants and bars the whole time not just in th hols. Show me the students doing that now. No wonder the hospo industry is full of new imports.

Actually there are huge numbers doing this - don't think you've spent any time at a university lately. The hours worked per week by Uni students is vastly higher than when you were at university. Then you were in the minority. Now most Uni students have a part time job during term time.


That he is clearly and unambiguously better off if he joins the work force, than if he doesn't.

That message is obscured by a system which gives you benefits if you don't work and reduces benefits if you do.

Admire Morgan for giving it a go but he's incredibly Socialist. I'm not sure policies of something for nothing is good for youth.

Their policies are wishy washy at best and are a wasted vote. They'll struggle enormously to get 2% let alone 5%

"They'll struggle enormously to get 2% let alone 5%" - the only redeeming feature ; at least they will take ( and waste ) some votes off the other ( green ) idiots .


Despite my goldcard I rather like this idea. I really like the low bureaucracy involved - just give it to everyone.

Minor queries (not objections)
- my son was still at college aged 18; is that OK? It would have help pay for the maintenance of his car rather than the bank of mum & dad.
- OEs
- abrupt termination - why not just $100 for the last year?
- children?
- will it really have any effect on suicide? What age are typical teenage suicides - under or over 18?

It would be interesting seeing fast food sold by under 18, over 23 and over 65s.

A dramatic idea - way better than the boring stuff announced by the other parties. Lets give it a try and then judge it. All it needs is one or two baby-boomers like myself and and all young voters to vote for it. Pity that the 18 to 23 year old Kiwis are both dumb and apathetic and don't vote even for their own advantage. It will probably be killed by jealous kids aged 23 to 30..

Expect strong support from parents of teenagers. They will charge their kids rent for living at home!

You presume that there won't be lenders targeting their cash flow the minute they turn 18 e.g. lend a lump sum at 18 and have the UBI directed to a locked account. The lender could vertically integrate and sell phones, cars. It's a rentier's dream policy.

What you are saying is essentially " lets us try it - because at least at is not boring " . Does not seem to be a good criterion to judge public policy by.

If NZ was thriving and everyone was happy and the future looked rosy you might be right. We need a major investment in our young Kiwis (not the nats concept of importing other countries low skilled young people) and this is the best idea on offer by the political parties. And unlike some policies it is reversible. It gets my vote.

Yeah, go for it Bob, vote for them , they deserve a chance !

OE's would mean no UBI - have to, otherwise discriminatory for the 65+ mob who have to report to WINZ if going on hol overseas for more than a month and who lose the Super if they leave for 6 months.

They should just make it $1,000pw and accelerate the demise of this socialist nonsense we are having to endure. A crash and burn seems to be the only way out of this nightmare...

It would be interesting to observe the outcomes of this UBI in different regions, different demographics, different genders and different ethnic groups.

TOP- what about a baby bonus?

If they're going to give out free money courtesy of the taxpayer, I want the legal drinking age put back to 21 !

Gareth Morgan promises to move drinking age to 20 and tax booze a lot heavier.

Would those on their OE get it? You could probably live like a prince in Cambodia or somewhere on that sort of money.

Will prisoners be getting paid $10,000 a year?

These clowns are not getting in so why even bother reading this.

Clown is a derogatory term. I prefer Morgan's muppets.

The only thing he will manage to get implemented is the cat management strategy and that is appallingly under researched. The lesson here is to beware of bored multi millionaires.

What I love about TOP: Fresh ideas and real attempts to solve the hard problems. No matter your opinions on their individual policies I think you have to hand them that.
Vote for any other party and this is a vote for the status quo. A system that seems completely unequipped to handle the large social and environmental problems it has caused.

ToP is recognising the symptom - ie the odds are now impossible for the majority of youth to make a go of it ... Unfortunately they are unaware of the underlying cause - Its not about how we can afford this - we already cant. Its not some simple phase these youth are going through - its a symptom of energy & resource problems which are crashing the world's 40 year debt binge party.
This article spells it out reasonably straight.
"We elect politicians to lie on our behalf, because we want to be told that our resources and growth are infinite"

I've got a lot of sympathy with the basic premise of a universal income, but there is no getting round the fact that it can only deliver two of the following:

1.low tax rate
2.high benefit
3.balanced budget

So which one is it that the TOP is prepared to go without?