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UK: A debate about the feasibility of Citizen’s Basic Income

Picture credit to: European Parliament


On the 23rd November, Social Europe published an article by Bo Rothstein entitled ‘UBI: A bad idea for the welfare state‘:

First, such a reform would be unsustainably expensive and would thereby jeopardize the state’s ability to maintain quality in public services such as healthcare, education and care of the elderly. … Another problem … concerns overall political legitimacy. … A third problem concerns the need for work. … The basic error with the idea of ​​unconditional basic income is its unconditionality. …

On the 11th December a response appeared: ‘Universal Basic Income: Definitions and details’:

… The main problem with the UBI that Rothstein discusses in his article is not its unconditionality: it is the detail and the flawed definition. … a UBI is an unconditional income paid to every individual. The definition implies neither a particular amount, nor that means-tested benefits would be abolished, and it does not imply that the UBI would free people from paid employment. So instead of a UBI scheme that pays £800 per month to every individual, and that abolishes means-tested benefits, let us instead pay £264 per month to every individual (with different amounts for children, young adults, and elderly people), and let us leave means-tested benefits in place and recalculate them on the basis that household members now receive UBIs. According to research published by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, the effects of such a UBI scheme would be interestingly different from the effects of Rothstein’s. …

More information at:

Bo Rothstein, “A bad idea for the welfare state“, Social Europe, 23rd November 2017

Malcolm Torry, “Universal Basic Income: definitions and details“, 11th December 2017

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 149 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it’s possible.

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