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Basic Income makes basic sense for remote Indigenous Australia

13th December 2016

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At the broadest level Professor Altman’s research focuses on social justice and human rights for minority groups globally. More particularly, appropriate economic development and associated policy for Indigenous Australia

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In a discussion paper contributed to the Green Institute collection Can Less Work Be More Fair?, ANU Emeritus Professor Jon Altman argues that in the midst of low unemployment rates and lack of appropriate employment near ancestral lands, a new Basic Income scheme has the potential to deliver remote living Indigenous people forms of alternative economy.

The time has come, as employment gaps for Indigenous Australians grow, to trial Basic Income as an alternative ‘social investment’ approach and to objectively evaluate the outcomes7—if such evidence based policy making remains possible in today’s hyper-politicised policy environment where ideology seems to be the key factor in any assessment. I suspect that, in any objectively-assessed competition of policy approaches for remote Indigenous Australia, a Basic Income scheme will win out easily—a far superior approach to the current neo-paternalism CDP masquerading as a work-creation program that is destructive and deeply impoverishing already impoverished people. Basic Income is an alternative worthy of serious consideration.

Read Jon’s full paper in the Green Institute collection, Can Less Work Be More Fair?

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