Jim Chalmers says it would cost the budget billions and would be a ‘backward step’ for Australian workers

The Labor MP Jim Chalmers has ridiculed the push to introduce a universal basic income in Australia, saying it would be a “backward step” for workers that could increase inequality and cost the budget billions.

His criticism of the concept puts him squarely alongside the shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, who has been pushing back for months against internal and external calls to adopt the welfare policy.

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