Keith Rankin (New Zealand)

Keith Rankin, an economic historian by training, teaches Economics at Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology. Keith coined the term ‘Universal Basic Income’ in 1991 as a way of conflating universal benefits – important to New Zealand’s political history – with the Basic Income Flat Tax method of integrating benefits with income taxes. The name caught on, internationally, after he presented at the Basic Income European Network congress at Vienna in 1996. Keith’s work – published for example in ‘Basic income in Australia and New Zealand: perspectives from the neoliberal frontier’  – continues to emphasise universal welfare and tax reform as two sides of the same fiscal coin. Since 2010, Keith has developed a new related concept, public equity, as a way of understanding universal welfare as a public property right, and as a means to enable income to be equitably distributed in high-productivity economies.