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.
Why are we talking about it now?
The idea has been cropping up around the world: it’s being piloted in Finland and last year and it was part of the UK Green Party’s 2017 manifesto. The concept is becoming more popular as the age of automation comes ever closer: supporters think that a UBI could help the 10 million jobs could be taken by robots in the next 15 years. And now, it seems, Ms Sturgeon is sweet on the notion.
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