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October 4, 2017

Basic Income arrives

It’s always interesting to observe the trajectory of new policy ideas as they move from the outer reaches of public awareness into the mainstream of government thinking. The Universal Basic Income or Citizen’s Income is an example. After some encouraging pilot projects in different countries, and with some organised lobbying beginning to take root in Scotland, gradually support and interest has grown (for different reasons) across the political spectrum.  And now, most recently the concept has appeared in the current programme for government. All still at an exploratory stage, but encouraging how quickly this has all happened.


Scottish Govt

Extract from Programme for Government . Chpt 3 – Building a Fairer Scotland

Citizen’s basic income

Several Scottish local authorities are considering how they can pilot elements of a citizen’s basic income, a radical form of social assistance. One of its attractions is that it may help those on the lowest incomes back into work or help them work more hours, while providing an unconditional ‘basic income’ as a safety net. We believe that bold and imaginative projects like this deserve support but we also recognise that the concept is currently untested. Therefore, we will:

·         establish a fund to help these local authorities areas develop their proposals further and establish suitable testing

·         ask the Poverty and Inequality Commission to consider how it could help to draw together findings from local authorities to inform the government’s thinking