What’s happening in Scotland in terms of basic income?

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.

What is planned for the coming year?

The four local authority areas will undertake research into the feasibility of a Basic Income pilot, supported by the Scottish Government and others, including NHS Health Scotland.

The main aim will be to test out the role of a Basic Income in reducing poverty in Scotland. The behavioural effects of a Basic Income are also of interest. It is possible that each of the pilot areas will develop different models of a Basic Income pilot linked to their area, potentially focusing on: a specific group (families, lone parents, health-related) or a specific geography (town, locality, neighbourhood). These different design options will be explored as part of the feasibility study.

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