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 AvatarLorenzo Cherin 4th Jul - 12:37pm
    The comments from Geoffrey are ott, John, thanks, as with David, Barry!
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 4th Jul - 12:36pm
    @Tim Harney You are right that these words have different meanings to different people. Tories think leftwing means a big state, so North Korea which...
  • User AvatarPeter Chambers 4th Jul - 12:18pm
    I had thought that in the UK de-funding the police was what Theresa May and Nick Clegg were doing between 2010 and 2015, under the...
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 4th Jul - 12:12pm
    @Peter I'm glad you agree with some of my article, but it seems we disagree with other parts. Social media gives an bad advert for...
  • User AvatarMartin 4th Jul - 11:55am
    John Bicknell and Stephen Howse's comments deserve to be repeated and some here really do need to properly absorb the message. "The author of this...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 4th Jul - 11:45am
    "I can only endorse John Marriotts’ comments on “Geoffreys” post" Likewise