Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Left-wing dispute over unconditional basic income

June 3rd, 2016

Left-wing columnists disagree whether the idea of an unconditional basic income is morally desirable or economically feasible.

In Népszava, András Lázár argues that the unconditional basic income proposed by left-wing intellectuals (see BudaPost January 14, 2014) is morally compelling and economically feasible. The left-wing columnist dismisses Fidesz Vice-President Lajos Kósa’s suggestion that unconditional basic income is a ‘Communist’ idea which runs counter  to human nature. On the contrary, he asserts that unconditional income would make basic welfare available for all citizens without much bureaucratic hassle and administrative costs. He remarks that the idea is supported by 64 per cent of EU citizens. Lázár accuses Fidesz of opposing the introduction of basic income in order to preserve its prerogative of handing down subsidies and benefits – and expecting votes in return.

Unconditional basic income is morally corrupting and economically unfeasible, István Tanács contends in Népszabadság. The left-wing columnist thinks that it is absolutely unrealistic to assume that Hungary could spend more on welfare than it currently does. As for the moral implications, Tanács thinks that unconditional income would be humiliating for those who work hard to earn a living. Despite all these drawbacks, Tanács is afraid that left-wing parties will promise its introduction in their next election campaign.

Tags: ,