Coronavirus-led financial insecurity has reinvigorated debate over whether or not Australians should receive a basic living wage.
If a universal basic income, or UBI, was implemented everyone in the country would be paid a standard living wage by the government, regardless of their personal financial circumstances.
It's an idea that's been touted as a solution to rising inequality and precarious working arrangements as work forces change and some jobs are replaced by technology, which has been trialled on a small scale in other countries to varying degrees of success.
Its opponents say a universal basic income would remove the incentive for people to find work, and the cost of providing it would exceed the welfare funds of most countries.
Advocates are again calling for discussion around the implementation of a guaranteed national income as coronavirus throws already precarious workforces into disarray, including the retail and hospitality industries which are powered by casual staff.
CSU Economics professor Yapa Bandara said coronavirus had created "a huge economic challenge" around the world.
While he agreed with a universal basic income "conceptually", he thought its implementation would be difficult.
"Yes, if you can achieve that, that's a very good thing to do. But when I say 'if', there are some issues, some limitations," Professor Bandara said.
Professor Bandara said Australia's existing welfare system was set up to help people who were disadvantaged.
"I can understand there are some other parts of society that are not getting help for various reasons," he said.
"I would support the concept, I would say yes to the idea. But the next thing is: how do you make policies to achieve every single person in the country, in the economy, having this minimum level of support?"
Professor Bandara said the NSW government's stimulus package was designed to help people struggling with economic insecurity due to COVID-19.
Announced on Tuesday, the package includes $1.6 billion designed to keep people in jobs throughout the crisis.
NSW Health will receive an extra $700 million to boost a range of services including doubling the capacity of intensive care units across the state, preparing for additional coronavirus testing and buying extra ventilators and medical equipment.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the remaining $1.6 billion was dedicated to much-anticipated economic stimulus measures, designed to keep people in jobs throughout the crisis.
Former Wagga Councillor Ray Goodlass said people who received Newstart were "powerless" and the government's coronavirus stimulus package would "only preserve the status quo".
"Things like Newstart are completely inadequate. They're doled out more or less as a charity. A UBI would overcome the need to have such handouts, " Mr Goodlass said.
Mr Goodlass, who is a member of The Greens, said his political party had "long argued that a UBI was necessary."
"It's needed now more than ever before," Mr Goodlass said.
"It would certainly help to redress the massive difference between the very wealthy, the comfortably wealthy and the poor."
Mr Goodlass said QANTAS' recent decision to temporarily stand down 20,000 workers while the airline struggles amid coronavirus restrictions was one indication of the importance of a standard living wage.
"One of the keys of everyone getting it [a UBI] is everyone would have a vested interest in making sure it was a living wage," he said.