An unconditional Basic Income (BI) has been advocated to cure the problem of persistent unemployment and income insecurity. In this paper it is argued that a BI system raises important philosophical questions about individuals' rights and obligations to society. Also the impact of a BI on job creation, skill development, the wage structure, employment and living standards is problematic. Some supporters of the BI emphasise the environmentally friendly lifestyle and work changes that would result, but these views are rather speculative. A Job Guarantee (JG) designed to provide economic security for all workers through access to meaningful work would be better suited to meet unmet social needs and address growing environmental problems. The JG may represent a step in the transition to an unconditional BI, following the reassessment of what constitutes work in the light of rising labour productivity and falling average weekly hours of paid work.
New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations Vol. 27, Issue 1, p. 119-133