Tag Archives: basic income guarantee

A Basic Income Guarantee or Job Guarantee? Can we have both?



There has been some recent discussion on Lib Dem Voice and elsewhere on the idea of a Basic Income for all. The social benefits we already receive when we are unable to find work, or are incapable of working due to being too sick, or too old, are examples of a basic income guarantee, albeit an inadequate basic income, in operation.



It has been a while since any progressive political party has seriously promoted the idea of a guaranteed income from working but the idea is nothing new and doesn’t have to be workfare in disguise. Both types of schemes will meet the same objections from the political right with questions like “Who is going to pay”? If we play their game and agree that everything will be “fully funded” we’ll simply be shifting existing money from one group to another. Aggregate demand will remain unchanged and so the underlying macroeconomic problems of our economy will remain unresolved. On the other hand, if we don’t play along we’ll be dismissed as potentially fiscally profligate by wanting to pay out money for nothing.



Posted in News | 6 Comments

Is the Basic Income Guarantee an idea whose time has come?

Way back when I was first involved in politics, the ideas that everyone should have a basic income and that tax and national insurance should be integrated were mainstream SDP/Liberal Alliance ideas.

The Greens have in recent years been the only party to advocate such a change but during the General Election, Natalie Bennett was unable to convince people that it was affordable.

This week, think-tank Reform Scotland has come up with a costed scheme to give every adult a basic income of £100 per week and every child £50. The authors, Liberal Democrat Siobhan Mathers and Scottish Green candidate James Mackenzie, acknowledge that there would be a cost, around £2 billion in Scotland, £12 billion across the whole UK and that personal taxation rates would have to rise by about 8%, but that nobody earning under £26,000 a year would be worse off. However, with 2 children, a £100k household would be over £1200 a year better off

It’s certainly radical, with those on lowest incomes gaining and those on £100,000 without children being around £2,200 a year worse off, but isn’t that what a progressive tax system is supposed to do? There is a question, though, around whether a £100k household needs to be mae £1200 a year better off courtesy of the state.

The report argues that there are seven big advantages of such a scheme:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 25 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 27th Jan - 3:31pm
    Not sure who the 'energetic go-getters' are 'who just sit on their hands and remain inactive', Innocent - that sounds a bit contradictory. But I...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 27th Jan - 3:17pm
    As usual Nick Tyrone make very good and sound reasoning. He is right, Labour hates us, and that is not going to move any time...
  • User AvatarNick Collins 27th Jan - 2:54pm
    Mark, I used your very words by utilising "Copy" and "Paste": the only difference being in that you referred to a "a vast amount of...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 27th Jan - 2:31pm
    Now we seem south-east centred, and dependent on the support of well-educated middle-class liberal-minded people. Our strongest support in the south-east used to be poor...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 27th Jan - 2:30pm
    Nick, I do think that you may be misquoting me somewhat. That said, a good, effective Town or Parish Council will need to do a...
  • User AvatarNick Collins 27th Jan - 2:00pm
    The process in my little town seems to have been more or less as follows. A largely self selected clique of the local busybodies, do-gooders...