(Original post by paul514)
You’re argument is also achieved by lowering taxes for everyone but the rich and unconditional welfare payments at a higher rate surely?
Well, no. Firstly, the point is that that's more difficult to administrate than just giving it to everyone. Also, your way is less redistributive. Normally that wouldn't bother me but essentially the point, to me, of a UBI is that if you're going to have a state which aims to redistribute wealth and provide welfare you might as well do it on an efficient basis.
So if you gave everyone the UBI, but removed the personal allowance (say), maybe with a slightly higher basic rate of tax, most people would be better off, but the poorer you are the more better off you would be. If you just lowered taxes and increased unemployment benefit the poorest workers wouldn't see much benefit, and may see a greatly reduced incentive to work.
This is actually an important point, because people often say a UBI would reduce incentives to work. Universal Credit is a (flawed) attempt to grapple with the problem that for those moving into work, removal of benefits mean that they face eye-watering effective marginal tax rates. If it's not conditional on whether you work or not, your marginal tax rate is always just the tax rate, so the unemployed face no more an incentive to not work those of us in full-time work face to not take overtime.