Tag Archives: basic income

New toolkit released to equip anyone to host a “Basic Income Conversation”

Liberal Democrats are right at the forefront of campaigning for a Basic Income – an idea that Christine Jardine called “our generation’s NHS”, and potentially the foundation of a new, post-COVID social contract.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Basic Income could be the key to success in the 2021 elections

As Spring Conference starts, I have to be honest – I’m simmering with frustration.

As I’ve explored at greater length here, I feel the party leadership is at serious risk of missing the enormous opportunity that the sweep of elections in 2021 represents – failing to provide a foundation for electoral success when the key tool to do so is in their hands.

Basic Income is that tool.

Posted in Op-eds | 26 Comments

Event review: How to win with Basic Income

Nearly 200 Lib Dem activists signed up to join the “How to win with UBI” online event on Tuesday 9th March, organised in partnership between Lib Dems for Basic Income, the Social Liberal Forum, the Compass-hosted Basic Income Conversation, and justLiberals.

This was the first of three events being co-hosted by this partnership of organisations to explore what is arguably our biggest new party policy for some time.

The second event is What Kind Of UBI?, on 29th March, and this will be followed by an exciting conversation with Michael Tubbs, the man who introduced a …

Posted in Events and News | 5 Comments

25 September 2020 – conference day 1 press releases

  • Ed Davey opens Liberal Democrat conference
  • Failure on test and trace is putting public health at risk
  • Liberal Democrats back proposals for “world class” mental health support for health and care staff
  • Liberal Democrats urge Government to tackle spread of fake news
  • Time to campaign for Universal Basic Income has come, Liberal Democrats declare

Ed Davey opens Liberal Democrat conference

Speaking on the opening of the Liberal Democrats’ first digital conference today , Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has warned the coronavirus crisis is taking an “enormous toll on people’s lives and livelihoods” and urged his Party to listen, challenge Boris Johnson’s Conservatives and …

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

We should argue for a temporary Universal Basic Income

It is a scary time. As Covid-19 spreads across the globe, it is causing severe disruption and panic. The shift in government policy away from gambling lives on the mass infection (so-called ‘herd immunity’) to instead falling in line with most of the rest of world in attempting to slow the spread of the virus means that the likely death toll from the outbreak has fallen dramatically.

However, the impact on the economy will be enormous and will compound the significant damage already done by Brexit. Companies are already calling in the receivers, thousands of staff are being laid off or sent home unpaid, and millions of people are facing uncertainty and fear for their family’s financial future.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 33 Comments

How we could abolish relative poverty in five years

Do we want to abolish relative poverty in five years? Here’s one way we could do it.

In December the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published its report UK Poverty 2017

The report states:

14 million people live in poverty in the UK – over one in five of the population. This is made up of eight million working-age adults, four million children and 1.9 million pensioners. 8 million live in families where at least one person is in work.

The question for Liberal Democrats is how can we eliminate relative poverty over the course of a five year Parliament.

The JRF report defines relative poverty as “when a family has an income of less
than 60% of median income for their family type, after housing costs”. They set out levels of income (after Income Tax, National Insurance and housing cost have been deducted) needed for different types of family units:

Family type £ per week, equivalised,

2015/16 prices

Couple with no children 248
Single with no children 144
Couple with two children aged 5 and 14 401
Single with two children aged 5 and 14 297

Source: Households Below Average Income 2015/16, table 2.2db

It is depressing to recognise that poverty among pensioners is increasing (from 13% in 2011/12 to 16% in 2015/16). In 2015/16 the Pension guarantee was set to £151.20 for single people and £230.85 for couples while the pension rates were only £115.95 (single) and £185.45 (couples). To eliminate poverty for couples we could increase the couple rate by 1.5% above the normal increase for 5 years (totally 7.73% compared to a shortfall of 7.43%)

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 37 Comments

Why Basic Income Should Be Lib Dem Policy

Over the last 70 years, an inexorable long-term structural change has taken place in the economy.

Source: ONS, defining ‘labour income’= wages + self-employed earnings

 

It’s very clear that aggregate ‘labour income’ (=wages + self-employed earnings) has declined compared to consumer expenditure, with a turning point in 1995, such that

  1. From 1948 to 1995, labour income exceeded consumer expenditure.
  2. From 1995 to 2016, consumer expenditure now increasingly exceeds labour income.

By 2016, labour income only funded 86% of consumer expenditure. 14% of consumer expenditure was funded by unearned income. This trend is structural, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 50 Comments

Latest Social Liberal Forum publication: Universal Basic Income as a tool for tax and benefit reform

At the recent SLF Annual Conference in July, a well-attended fringe session discussed the benefits and drawbacks of Basic Income.

My contention, as Chair of this session, was that we now need to be looking more closely at Basic Income, given increasing robotisation and technological change that will massively shake up conventional work, and given that our welfare system is creaking and needs modernisation. Basic Income is a policy that seems fundamentally socially liberal, and so it seems to naturally deserve attention from the SLF and all who are socially liberal.

Therefore the SLF is very pleased …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 33 Comments

A Liberal Path Towards a Basic Income

Is the Basic Income an idea whose time has come?” asked Caron, back in February and it seems now that two-thirds of the British public agree.

The advantages seem to speak for themselves: a universal cash payment from the government, means that no one needs to starve, no one is trapped in a bad work situation, and perhaps most important from a Liberal point of view, puts the choices in the hands of the recipient not leaving them beholden to the generosity of the government.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 47 Comments

What’s wrong with the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement?

There are three huge defects in the Chancellor’s autumn statement

1 Technical

The Chancellor fundamentally believes that the government budget can and should be balanced, or even run in surplus. This basic accounting assumption drives his whole thinking. But facts prove him, and the traditional thinking of the whole financial establishment, wrong on this. He has been unable to eliminate the deficit. He will not be able to eliminate it. In modern high technology, high productivity economies, deficit is inevitable, and manageable.

There’s a huge problem in thinking here. The Chancellor approaches economic policy like an accountant, rather than as an economist. Books should balance. He talks about what we can afford, purely in financial terms. But it’s not money which gives value to the real economy, but rather it’s real economic activity which gives money its value. Economic activity creates financial value, and not the other way round. What we can afford has to be measured in real resources of people, skills, natural resources, technology and capital assets. A thought experiment demonstrates this. If it were possible to plug a machine into the earth to produce the whole GDP without labour and therefore without wages, then the money vouchers the government would have to allocate would all be a total financial deficit each year. Money does not have to be backed either by gold, or by the sale of government bonds, but only by output GDP. Deficits are here to stay. Facts support this hypothesis.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 21 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Peter Davies
    For the record, the withdrawal of benefit is based on net income after NI and Income tax so before the NI rise you kept just under 25% of your income and when t...
  • Michael BG
    I don’t think reducing the taper to 55% is the best way to help the poorest in society. It helps people the more they earn and if they earn nothing they do no...
  • Roland
    And the LibDems continue their silence on free school meals for all pupils, which is the real solution to this issue as then schools can simply provide meals to...
  • Roland
    >I’m making the assumption that this is about higher paid bankers The budget surcharge change was about the Banks, which are colloquially being referred t...
  • Brad Barrows
    The international community must be careful to avoid double standards over its attitude towards the Taliban. The Taliban regard same-sex sexual relationships as...
Thu 28th Oct 2021
19:30