Tag Archives: universal basic income

Lessons from Finland on Universal Basic Income

Piles of money. Photo credit: czbalazs - http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1236662Aditya Chakrabortty, a Guardian Columnist, recently travelled to Finland to interview a man who’s been part of a Universal Basic Income trial. The scheme gives 2,000 randomly chosen people, who were already receiving unemployment benefits, £493 a month unconditionally. The scheme will finish properly at the end of 2018 and no official results will be published until then, but there is anecdotal evidence from a number of interviews conducted with people chosen to take part.

One such person is Juha Jarvinen. When asked by …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 14 Comments

Universal Basic Services – an alternative to Universal Basic Income?

While Universal Basic Income is popular in principle, support for it falls sharply once increases in taxation or reductions in benefits to pay for it are included as this IPSOS Mori survey shows. UCL’s Institute for Global Prosperity has just published a report, proposing what they call Universal Basic Services as a less costly alternative.

The first point to make about their proposals is that only some of them are truly universal, with others targeted at the lowest two deciles. The Royal Society of Arts, who have their own Basic Income model, have already criticised it.

The Universal Basic Services proposal concentrates on four areas:

Shelter,

Food,

Communications,

and Transport.

Shelter

They propose building 1.5 million new social housing units over seven years, funded by selling long-term Gilts. This is not really contentious, but they then advocate allocating them on the basis of need to people at nil rent and Council Tax and with an allowance for utilities costs. Potentially, there is a problem of inequity here with existing Council tenants who are paying rent, Council Tax and utility bills while receiving Housing Benefit and this does not seem to have been fully worked out in the proposals – they only look at overall costs.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 23 Comments

What party members think about a universal basic income and benefits sanctions

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. 741 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

The social security debate at Conference this afternoon will be dominated by two major arguments. George Potter recommended rejection of the motion as a whole because it chose not to endorse a universal basic income and because it supports the use, albeit much restricted, of sanctions. Supporters of the UBI may well support an amendment calling for a negative income tax from Calderdale while an amendment signed by members opposes the use of benefits sanctions in any circumstances. We asked our members what they thought of the idea of UBI and sanctions.

Are you in favour of a universal basic income?

Yes 60.32%

No  39.68%

Here are some of the comments made:

It would be a clear, distinct policy and place the Party firmly on the “Left” (which, as Charles Kennedy and Paddy Ashdown proved) is the only place it can survive.

The nature of work is changing and society needs to catch up. The markets can no longer be a funnel for the rich to build up their wealth. Redistribution needs to be far more aggressive.

No. It is fundementally wrong as it discriminates against the most vulnerable in society. Common denominators always end up being the lowest.

Posted in Conference and LDV Members poll | Also tagged and | 27 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGlenn 20th Nov - 9:33am
    Palehorse. I think, you are basically Michael Palin in Life of Brian "Too right Centurion, great people the Roman's".
  • User AvatarKomodo 20th Nov - 9:16am
    The Institute (no longer a registered charity) will be glad to see how many LibDems are happy to accept Blair's version of events without question....
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 20th Nov - 9:16am
    A return to the Drachma is impossible: it would first require a stealth political decision and thousands of Greek civil servants would have to work...
  • User AvatarMartin 20th Nov - 9:03am
    This is a particularly objectionable referendum that fortunately has had a happy outcome. There is an obvious mismatch between the homosexual small minority and the...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Nov - 8:52am
    @ Palehorse "My point was simply that those who want the best things in life should just shut up and pay for them instead of...
  • User AvatarHolly Matthies 20th Nov - 8:49am
    Thanks for writing this, Jennie. I'm sorry it's so necessary, now more than ever.