Universal Basic Income

Interesting news report about how Fife and Glasgow councils are apparently exploring the idea of trialling Universal Basic Income in 2017. It’s a progressive idea that seems to be gaining support in European politics – partly as a mechanism for enhancing the welfare state.

The concept of a universal basic income revolves around the idea of offering every individual, regardless of existing welfare benefits or earned income, a non-conditional flat-rate payment, with any income earned above that taxed progressively. The intention is to provide a basic economic platform on which people can build their lives, whether they choose to earn, learn, care or set up a business.

Where the idea hits trouble is, of course, how it will be funded and it suggests (unrealistic) sources like philanthropy or (vague) “trusts” as well as the redirection of existing welfare state funding (which is already quite stretched).

I doubt UBI is possible without major overhaul of the welfare state as part of a planned economy – something inimical to the current generation of neoliberal politicians.

SOURCE: The Guardian 

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