Paving the way for a Basic Income

A new report by Basic Income expert Stewart Lansley highlights the importance of a recovery basic income as the Covid-19 pandemic crisis exposes the inadequacy of today’s social security system.

This brand new publication, Meeting the Economic and Livelihood Crisis: From a Recovery Basic Income to a Permanent Income Floor, is an insightful, detailed and topical report from one of the authors of Compass’ recent publication on universal basic income: Basic Income For All: From Desirability to Feasibility.

In this paper, Lansley outlines how, whilst an immediate introduction of a basic income might not be possible, the case for a Recovery Basic Income, which would provide vital support in the later stages and aftermath of the crisis is especially strong, paving the way for a permanent basic income.

The report outlines how the economic and social crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is highlighting the need for a basic income. The tools of today can’t safeguard an entire nation’s wellbeing during this period of unprecedented, universal uncertainty. Moreover, the hard truth is that when this lockdown ends, there will be future shocks, be they epidemiological or environmental. The level of economic uncertainty we now face is here to stay. It will loom large long after the battle against coronavirus is won. 

This is why Compass, through the Basic Income Conversation, has stepped up its campaign for a basic income. In recent weeks, more than 100 MPs and peers joined our call to the Chancellor for a Recovery Basic Income. Stewart Lansley’s report is essential reading – not only for understanding the detail of such a scheme, but also in making the case that it should be a step towards a permanent income floor for all.

You can download and read the full report here.

9 thoughts on “Paving the way for a Basic Income

  1. I have read the report and, although I have not been in favour of UBI largely for the same reasons as Hilary Cottam in today’s Zoom, I can see the reasons for a Recovery BI.
    However, I think the paragraph:

    “Meeting the gross cost of the scheme would need tax
    adjustments. The most important of these would be the
    conversion of the current personal income tax allowance into a
    cash payment and a small rise in existing tax rates. The
    personal allowance costs a huge £110bn but is of no benefit to
    those with low earnings and those not in paid work. If paid to
    adults of working age, this, on its own, would enable a weekly
    cash payment of over £40 at no additional cost to the
    Exchequer. Though other forms of funding could be used, these
    tax changes would ensure that the benefit of the BI payments
    would be clawed back from the better off, thus raising the
    progressive impact of the scheme.”

    skates blithely over some pretty fundamental questions and needs quite a lot of unpacking.

  2. I think it’s an excellent idea but I can’t see the present government, especially under Cummings and Johnson, making any efforts in this direction. The so-called austerity, which only seemed applicable to the poor and disabled, is an indicator of how much the Conservative party really cares about the people of the UK. It’ll be interesting to see if the great tax-dodger Branson gets a bail-out.

  3. I believe the basic idea is sound but will need further consideration to deal with the current disenfanchisement of the homeless and those without uk status like many working in our health and care services. We also have to consider that many of our environmental problems are related to overpopulation, which have also been approached by restricting child allowance.

  4. Forgive me for saying this but your email on RBI is not getting the message across. To get anywhere near an understanding of RBI I had to read a long PDF. Not many will do this. Many get loads of emails and have to sift rapidly to decide which to read. A long PDF isn’t the way to grab attention. I think you need a very short summary of what you are proposing. Then a follow through for those with the time.

  5. @Simonetta Logan – too right that the present government and Conservative party won’t lift a finger to introduce a basic income scheme. Raab was asked in parliament if he supported UBI. He gave a direct response of no he didn’t. Those who would benefit from such a scheme will have to suffer while this cold blooded crew ruin the country further. Covid-19 and its aftershocks could be bad news for the populists when the public realise that a deep crisis requires a compassionate competent government. Perhaps the US elections in a few months will decide the same.

  6. Is this the same as the “minimum income guarantee” advocated by the New Economics Foundation? Surely all the progressive groups should be working together on this and not giving confusing messages.

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