There are, as the article acknowledges, many types of universal income as there are people promoting them. They differ mainly by their degree of unconditionality, their amounts, their degree of substitution for social security and their method of financing. Again the article highlights that one can devise formulas that, by departing from the principle of hard unconditionality advocated by its promoters, can be conceived without affecting social protections too much. But when the Left subscribes to this perspective, it loses its compass and deserts the cass war battlefield between capital and labor. Conservatives see a basic income either as a way to a simplified streamlined welfare benefits system or that it should even replace the whole welfare state.
Indeed socialists should be very wary of UBI. A UBI would be a subsidy to employers is in fact a major socialist objection to it. The basic income scheme will be used to undermine social and public services, and to provide a subsidy to employers that will drive down wages and workers bargaining power. A guaranteed income detracts from seeking fundamental solutions to the failure of our economic system and political systems to provide adequate reward and meaningful employment opportunities for all. There will be no capitalist road to socialism.
The other socialist objection is that ignores the economic imperative of capitalism, enforced through competition, to accumulate more and more capital out of profits, and so profits must come first before meeting the consumption needs of the population. Catering for these is kept to the minimum to maintain productive efficiency or, in the case of ‘free money’ payments to the poor, to the minimum needed to avoid bread riots. The illusion common to many would-be proponents of citizen’s wage is that production under capitalism can be made to give priority to people’s consumption instead of to profits. It can’t. Freeing workers from the chains of poverty required a social revolution, not a basic income.
Well worth a read is this article - “What’s wrong with free money”