Changing workforce: Living Wage or Basic Income

Due to the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR), the workforce is being changed by artificial intelligence (AI) that includes digitalisation, robotisation and sophisticated information technology. In other words, the human workforce will be replaced by the robots and there is a higher possibility of being redundant of human in the future from the workforce by putting humanity at risks. A report published by the McKinsey Global Institute, says that advances in AI and robotics will have a drastic effect on everyday working lives, comparable to the shift away from agricultural societies during the Industrial Revolution. In the US alone, between 39 and 73 million jobs stand to be automated” To save humanity against the rise of robotic machine use the approach of state funded Basic Income (BI) and Living Wage (LW) has gained a momentum for the better welfare system.


Due to the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR), the workforce is being changed by artificial intelligence (AI) that includes digitalisation, robotisation and sophisticated information technology.

incomesco, 2019

Let’s see on living wage or minimum wage rate how it looks like ! for an example, Minimum wage rate in the UK has been increased by about 5 per cent from onward 1st April 2019. It was known as minimum wage rate, but the UK government preferred to call it as a living wage from 2016. According to the UK government, about 2 million low-income earners are benefitted from the rise of the living wage. It has been designed to pay a different rate of wage to the different age groups despite the same living cost and market price. The question is, is the increased minimum wage rate enough to maintain the living cost of “the bottom billion” people! The answers could be different despite a single reality of ‘income’ paid for the quantity and the quality of labour hired to generate national and private wealth’ in return. In fact, investors’ loan is a sum of money kept by the public in their account holding banks. The interest earns from the funds does not go for the depositors instead the current system allows lenders (investors) to use this public fund to create discriminatory pay gap by offering the CEOs highest and their worker lowest; and, also pays to the banks as the interest rate of the loan. The minimum wage rate or the BI is the matter of discussion within the system where the income has been distributed/circulated.        


The interest earns from the funds does not go for the depositors instead the current system allows lenders (investors) to use this public fund to create discriminatory pay gap by offering the CEOs highest and their worker lowest; and, also pays to the banks as the interest rate of the loan.

Incomesco, 2019

The minimum wage rate in the UK has been categorised based on the age group. Age group 25 and over will be paid £8.21 per hour, was £7.83 before – a rise of 4.9 per cent. Similarly, Age group 21-24 will be paid £7.70 from £7.38; Age 18-20 will get £6.15 increased from £5.90, Age 16-17 will get £ 4.35 increased from £4.20, and apprentice will get £3.90 from £3.70. However, the cost of bread or energy or public transportation is the same for each group of age. It is worth mentioning to seek justification that the age group 16 to 64 are categorised as an economically active population by considering competitive productivity from them. In the UK, according to the Office for the National Statistics (ONS), 63.1 per cent population falls in 16 to 64 age group in 2016. The aged group 0-15 are 18.9 per cent and 65 and over are 18.0 per cent in the total population of 65,648,054. The interesting thing is, moreover, the voting right is given to the age 18 and over; meaning is those aged group who can have their say independently through the ballot are believed as responsible and capable mentally and physically. Then, it is obvious to raise a question, why they are paid lower living wage rate. The discriminatory lower pay rate for the responsible employee sounds unfair. Whatsoever, an employee whose earnings for the month is £1330.60 (minimum working hour average 40 hrs per week multiply by 8.21 minimum wage per hour and multiply by 4 weeks in a month equals to £1330. 60). This is an insufficient amount to cover bills, rent or mortgage, taxes, transportation and insurances must be paid. Because according to the BBC


The age group 16 to 64 are categorised as an economically active population by considering competitive productivity from them.
moreover, the voting right is given to the age 18 and over; meaning is those aged group who can have their say independently through the ballot are believed as responsible and capable mentally and physically. The discriminatory lower pay rate for the responsible employee sounds unfair.

Incomesco, 2019
  • Council tax or it’s equivalent, set by local authorities, which is going up by more than inflation i.e. about 5 per cent.
  • Typical council tax bills in England will rise by 4.7% in April
  • The Council tax levy on an average Band D property will go up by £78 per year
  • Gas or electricity prices have gone up by £117 a year,
  • The TV licence fee has gone up from £150.50 to £154.50 a year
  • The standard NHS prescription charge in England, which has risen from £8.90 to £9, although Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have abolished these fees.

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Those services are provided by the government and cost has been increased. The private sectors cost on food, insurance, accommodation (Rent) and so on are not included in here. The market price (inflation) has been gone up by more than 5 per cent. Considering these evidence the minimum wage rate is not relieving low earning families in the UK. Due to financial constraints numbers of mental health, social crime and depression have been increased tremendously in the UK.

Does Basic Income (BI) work for the low earners?

The approach of Basic income is gaining popularity.  The idea of Basic Income – a state-run social benefit program – was introduced in 16th century Sir Thomas More. He argued for a compulsory payment for every person who does not have employment or income for the living cost. Although it was not on the top list of hot discussion, however, from 2010 onwards, Basic Income has again gained as an active topic of wall-fare in many countries. Now, BI is discussed from a variety of perspectives—including in the context of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution (FIR), globalised governance system where problems are entangled from local to global level, severe climate change and income inequality to ease social justice and welfare system work considering a pattern of the future of workforce. That motivates to create an intensified, diversified and resilient welfare system can be created.

The Living Wage (LW) is an insufficient amount to cover bills, rent mortgage, taxes, transportation and insurances that must be paid.
——
Basic Income (BI) a compulsory payment for every person who does not have employment or income for the living cost.

Namibia, India, Canada and Finland have been experiencing about BI and now it has been at the centre of international media and global policy attention. The first and only national referendum about basic income was held in Switzerland in 2016. The BI proposal was rejected by a vote of 76.9 per cent to 23.1 per cent. The BI is given different names as Citizen’s Basic Income (UK), Basic Income Guarantee (USA, Canada), Free Money, Citizen’s Income and Universal Basic Income. BI is a periodic cash payment delivered to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. The incomes would be:

  • Unconditional
  • Automatic
  • Individual
  • A human right

Basic income can be implemented nationally, regionally or locally. An unconditional income that is enough to meet a person’s basic needs (at or above the poverty line), is sometimes called a Full Basic Income, while if it is less than that amount, it is also sometimes called partial BI. So, it is essential to think what about the individual basic need to be fulfilled and whether the work based income is enough to meet them.


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References

BBC [1] [2] [3] [4]

The Guardian [1] [2] [3]

The Office of National Statistics, UK (ONS)

The Basic Income: History

The McKinsey Report of workforce pattern

The Verge: Automation threatens 800 million jobs, but technology could still save us, says report

How Universal Basic Income Solves Widespread Insecurity and Radical Inequality: Answering the four big objections from critics of UBI

YouTube, Economic Man vs Humanity: a Puppet Rap Battle

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5 thoughts on “Changing workforce: Living Wage or Basic Income

  1. In my view we need both – and the UBI needs to be adequate to live on, especially for single women with children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, You are absolutely right! You have a good weekend 🙂

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    1. Thank you for following and sharing INCOMESCO weblog

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