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SarahBell

Universal basic income trials being considered in Scotland

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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/01/universal-basic-income-trials-being-considered-in-scotland


Two councils, Fife and Glasgow, are investigating idea of offering everyone a fixed income regardless of earnings

 

At the heart of any experiment with basic income is money: how much should people get and where will it come from? Kerr says his instinct is to base the amount on similar calculations to those made for the living wage.

“It’s about having more than just enough to pay the bills. But part of the idea of doing a pilot is to make mistakes and also find out what is acceptable to the public. There will be a lot of resistance to this. We shouldn’t kid ourselves. Part of the problem is we’re working against a whole discourse of deserving and undeserving poor.”

 

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From what I have heard the Scottish interpretation is very different from the English version.  Rather than simply switching the existing welfare spend into a UI it is a quixotic vision of soaking 'higher earners' to pay everybody some unrealistically high amount such that they can sit on their **** in relative comfort.  I fear it is destined to fail and possibly taint the concept.

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I'm sure Nicola Sturgeon will find something to complain about re this, irrespective of its merits. Plus as I recall trialing the Poll Tax in Scotland didn't go well 25 years ago....

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This may have crystallised some thinking for me.  Aside from any side debates about what level it should be set and how it could ever be implemented in practice.  A UI has appeals to me and I think others on this forum as it is in concept perfectly fair from an economic perspective.  But the simple reality is that perfectly fair equals perfectly dispassionate.  I believe perfectly dispassionate is an impossibility in UK politics and therefore any CI would be destined to morph into a spectrum of CI, CI+, CI++, etc and therefore a failure.  As such I conclude it is probably a thought experiment that could never work in reality.  Therefore campaigning for (more) carefully underwritten means tested benefits may be the only worthwhile agenda.  In a (prior) year of brexit/Trump I could always be surprised/wrong, but I doubt it.

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7 minutes ago, GARCH said:

This may have crystallised some thinking for me.  Aside from any side debates about what level it should be set and how it could ever be implemented in practice.  A UI has appeals to me and I think others on this forum as it is in concept perfectly fair from an economic perspective.  But the simple reality is that perfectly fair equals perfectly dispassionate.  I believe perfectly dispassionate is an impossibility in UK politics and therefore any CI would be destined to morph into a spectrum of CI, CI+, CI++, etc and therefore a failure.  As such I conclude it is probably a thought experiment that could never work in reality.  Therefore campaigning for (more) carefully underwritten means tested benefits may be the only worthwhile agenda.  In a (prior) year of brexit/Trump I could always be surprised/wrong, but I doubt it.

It appeals to most of us on here because the Government spend about 10k per capita and other than the few crumbs in our name on defence and law and order we don't see a penny of that 10k. In reality we will just have to pay up and shut up whilst those deemed more worthy get to feast on the bulk of the cake.

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This is the future people. The truth is that administering a means-tested welfare system always costs more than just giving people money. This is why we have free prescriptions in Wales. Giving the homeless homes is cheaper than trying to solve the social problems homelessness creates. Shaming people for not finding jobs in a declining economy is pointless.

Intelligent countries have already worked this out. I agree with the poster above saying it's not if; it's when.

Edited by EnglishinWales

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Hmm, it could mean a boost to house prices, as everyone would move there, and landlords can get higher rents. Landlords - watch closely!

Competing councils would bid higher and higher to attract more people to their areas. Until they run out of money that is.

Will they scrap council tax then?

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5 hours ago, 200p said:

People from all over England, Europe would move to Scotland.

No it's only a trial. It would involve resident citizens only. And it's only at the planning stage. They might not even start the trial for another year or so.

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13 hours ago, GARCH said:

From what I have heard the Scottish interpretation is very different from the English version.  Rather than simply switching the existing welfare spend into a UI it is a quixotic vision of soaking 'higher earners' to pay everybody some unrealistically high amount such that they can sit on their **** in relative comfort.  I fear it is destined to fail and possibly taint the concept.

Yep.  It won't replace benefits.  It would simply supplement them.  The sums simply don't add up - it would be impossible to survive only on the citizens income if the current welfare spend was simply split between everybody equally.

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On 1/2/2017 at 8:31 AM, A17 said:

Yep.  It won't replace benefits.  It would simply supplement them.  The sums simply don't add up - it would be impossible to survive only on the citizens income if the current welfare spend was simply split between everybody equally.

CI can be higher than the current per capita benefit spend and not cost any extra.

For easy maths, let's have CI at 25% of NAW and income tax at 25%. Somebody earning 100% of NAW will pay 25% of that in income tax (no personal allowances) and collect 25% of NAW as their CI. 

Net contributors will be earning NAW+, as is the case right now. Net beneficiaries of CI will be earning less than NAW, as is the case right now with those getting benefits.

Where the line is drawn wrt what the break even income should be is yet to be decided as currently the idea is still in the gathering momentum stage.

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On 02/01/2017 at 3:31 PM, A17 said:

Yep.  It won't replace benefits.  It would simply supplement them.  The sums simply don't add up - it would be impossible to survive only on the citizens income if the current welfare spend was simply split between everybody equally.

Wrong. 

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