From The Guardian:
Declan Gaffney (Even in Finland, universal basic income is too good to be true, 10 December)* is right: a universal basic income, or citizen’s income – an unconditional income for every individual citizen – is a lovely idea. It would provide a secure financial floor on which everyone could build; it would make it easier for people to earn their way out of poverty; it would remove intrusive government bureaucracy from a lot of people’s lives; it would enhance social cohesion.
There are 101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income (if anyone is in any doubt about that, then the Policy Press will gladly sell them a book with that title). And yes, a citizen’s income is a useful thought experiment against which to judge proposed changes to the benefits system. But it’s more than that. It really is feasible. Research results published by the Institute for Social and Economic Research show that there are at least two practical ways to implement a citizen’s income and that one of those methods could implement it very quickly: which could be helpful if universal credit proves impossible to implement.
The high-profile new elements in the debate are the Finnish and Utrecht pilot projects, and the Swiss referendum next year. Equally important is the number of UK thinktanks now running their own research projects. The Adam Smith Institute has recently published a paper on a variant, negative income tax; and Compass, the Fabian Society, and Royal Society of Arts are researching the feasibility. The debate on citizen’s income has shifted from being a debate about its desirability to being one about its feasibility. The next stage might be a debate about how to implement it in the UK before everyone else beats us to it.
Dr Malcolm Torry, Director, Citizen’s Income Trust
* The article itself was the usual hatchet job by an authoritarian socialist.
Monday, 14 December 2015
From The Guardian:
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Labels: Citizens Income