Scrapping the current benefits system and replacing it with a basic income could eradicate destitution, according to a new report.
The RSA charity wants to see every adult in Scotland given a basic annual income of £2,400, rising to £4,800. Children would be paid £1,500.
It claims the move would improve health and wellbeing while removing the stigma of receiving benefits.
But some critics say it would encourage fecklessness.Read more
The news that the new Government of Ontario has disgracefully decided to scrap the basic income (BI) experiments is incredibly disappointing and short-sighted. Coming on the back of the decision in Finland to not extend the experiments there, this could appear to be a major setback for the global BI agenda.
Moreover, it’s a huge blow for the 4,000 people participating in the pilot who, after a relatively short time, reported numerous positive effects of boosted economic security. Participants are rightly feeling betrayed by a government that only a few months ago — midelection — suggested it would leave the project intact.Read more
Basic Income Scotland
In September 2017, the Scottish Government announced in its Programme for Government that it would support local authority areas to explore a Citizen’s Basic Income Scheme by establishing a fund to help areas to develop their proposals further and establish suitable testing. The amount of funding offered is £250,000 over the two financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20. This complements funding already committed by local authority areas.
While plans are at an early stage, it has been agreed that four local authority areas - Fife Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council and North Ayrshire Council - will work together to research and explore the feasibility of local pilots of Basic Income in Scotland. The four areas collaboratively prepared and submitted a joint bid to the Citizen’s Basic Income Feasibility Fund on 29 March 2018. The Scottish Government confirmed on 21 May 2018 that they would provide £250,000 over two years to support the feasibility work in Scotland.Read more
Too many people in Scotland are being failed by the UK government’s social-security and employment-support systems and we have seen rising poverty levels in recent years.
In addition—at least for some—finding employment is sadly no longer the protection against poverty it once was. In-work poverty is now at an all-time high and the majority of adults and children in relative poverty live in households where someone is in paid work.Read more
An economic adviser to the Scottish Government has backed plans for a citizen’s basic income, saying it will “transform life” in deprived parts of Scotland.
The Government is working with four councils to fund research into the feasibility of the scheme which provides a flat rate payment to all adult citizens. Harry Burns, a member of the Scottish Government’s council of economic advisers and a former chief medical officer, said the payments would boost educational achievement, cut unemployment and reduce crime.
The basic income system is a radical redesign of tax and welfare - completely redrawing the relationship between the state and the citizen.
Under such a system, every individual would be given a cash payment at regular intervals, without any requirement to work or demonstrate a willingness to work. Several different figures have been suggested, mostly in the rough area of £100 a week for adults.
As the name suggests, it would be universal - paid out to every citizen regardless of their wealth, employment or personal status - and would be enough to cover the basics of life. It would serve as a replacement for existing benefits payments such as jobseeker's allowance.Read more
In a speech delivered by Nicola Sturgeon to the Scottish Parliament, she called for research into the plausibility of a “citizens' basic income” for all Scots. But what are these universal payments, and how do they work?
What is a Universal Basic Income?
A universal basic income (UBI) is a type of welfare paid by the state to all citizens, rich or poor, working or not. The unemployed are paid it even if they are not seeking work.Read more
Scotland looks set to be the first part of the UK to pilot a basic income for every citizen, as councils in Fife and Glasgow investigate trial schemes in 2017.
The councillor Matt Kerr has been championing the idea through the ornate halls of Glasgow City Chambers, and is frank about the challenges it poses.
“Like a lot of people, I was interested in the idea but never completely convinced,” he said. But working as Labour’s anti-poverty lead on the council, Kerr says that he “kept coming back to the basic income”.Read more