Ms. Isabelle Fuller – 23/12/2022
Novella City, Xeles, Novella Islands
Novellan National News Service
Brandless foodstuffs and other household goods hit the shelves, courtesy of the Dell Government’s Generics at Home program
Dr. Elissa Stark, the Social Welfare Minister, today reported that generic goods will be available completely for free from Monday, with no cap on the number of goods taken. Previously, essential goods were made available to the public at a significantly subsidised rate by the government – at times, up to a 99% discount – and could be easily purchased with the universal basic income provided to all citizens. However, until now, the number of products available per household under this scheme was tightly regulated, in order to ensure supplies.
Today’s announcement supersedes the version program that was previously in place, although Dr. Stark assures that the UBI will continue to be issued to all citizens, without reduction. “Consumer choice is still readily available, as nothing in today’s announcement will affect name-brand products. This is a net win for all Novellans, especially so for those who are unable to work, for whatever that reason may be,” the minister said.
“We strongly believe that everyone deserves access to essential items. Generics at Home ensures that this happens, and we are delighted to be able to make this available to everyone in the Novella Islands.” While a huge initial rush and wave of excited gathering of products is anticipated over the next few weeks, it is expected that demand will fall back to a sustainable level within a month, Dr. Stark noted.
The state-owned Novellan National Foodstuffs (NNF), which is responsible for the production of the generics, has already begun to ramp up production in order to meet the anticipated demand. “This has been a long time coming, and it’s time to see the fruits of our labour,” said Mr. John Richards, an NNF spokesperson. “We are expecting to see a spike of about 25% in the coming fortnight, and a 10% increase of baseline consumption once the initial hype dies out. In all, we’ve actually increased our workforce by a couple of hundred employees, to manage the increased demand.”
The Generics at Home program is expected to provide a major boost to the Novellan economy, as it is estimated that up to 10% of the population will no longer need to purchase the goods they need from outside sources. Katerina Tohl, a resident of Aqis City, said that she is looking forward to the program’s expansion. “I’m so excited that I won’t have to worry about budgeting the subsidy for my family anymore, and that we can just take what we need, when we need it. This will make life much easier for us all.” Concerns about the quality of the generic products, in comparison to commercially-produced alternatives, appear to be non-existent. “Personally, I have come to prefer many of these generic products to the name brand ones. The quality is absolutely on-par, and in many cases, better.”
It is hoped – providing this program is successful – that a similar scheme will be introduced for household technology items (such as microwaves, televisions, and refrigerators), and light industrial and maintenance goods (such as planed wood planks, light bulbs, and PVC pipes). Dr. Stark states that this is not off of the table, though a comprehensive economic assessment would need to take place before the scheme would be extended any further.
“The Generics at Home program serves as an example to the rest of the world. The Novella Islands become the first country to make generic consumer goods available for free to the public, and this is is just the latest in a long line of initiatives from the Dell Government, to ensure the wellbeing of all Novellans.”