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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