Precarious Work Symposium – Living Wage Campaign
AUT Thursday 14 February 2012
Panel: Welfare and a Living Wage
Voices from the street – and the idea of a Universal Basic Income
Sue Bradford – Auckland Action Against Poverty
As part of the Living Wage symposium in Auckland this week, Sue Bradford contributed to the ‘Welfare and the living wage’ panel discussion on behalf of Auckland Action Against Poverty.
In her paper, Sue talks about why the question of a living wage is important for non waged workers and beneficiaries as well as for paid workers, uses the experience of the Onehunga ‘impact’ in December to illustrate some of what’s happening for the people we work with right now, and puts forward three key challenges for unions, church and community groups and political parties.
These challenges include the need to go beyond researching and talking about inequality to actually working together across traditional political divides for real structural change that goes beyond focus group politics; the importance of all of us supporting the Living Wage campaign – but at the same time, unions and others must recognise that unemployed workers and beneficiaries need and deserve a living income too; and that it’s time to pick up the campaign for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) with renewed vigour, as we explore long term structural solutions to poverty, unemployment and an increasingly unequal society.