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United Kingdom: A podcast debate on basic income

Image credit to Nathaniel Houghton, on Medium.

The Guardian has published a podcast of a debate on Citizen’s Basic Income (start to listen at 16:00 minutes):

Could a universal basic income be a solution to precarious work, automation and a happy, healthier society? It has enthusiasts from Silicon Valley to the Labour party, but would it actually work?

We hear from Marjukka Turunen, from the Finnish welfare agency Kela in Helsinki, which is trialling a basic income scheme.

On the expert panel: Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, the Observer’s Sonia Sodha and the chair of CompassNeal Lawson.

Citizens' Income Trust

About Citizens' Income Trust

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • Jgdali Guatu

    Basic income started as a philosophy. Philosophy is art and utopia, it inspires professionals in their profession but it not to be taken literately. Social work, charity, income supports and aide all work to try to create a world where people can have a basic amount to thrive. There is no one universal program to support people in need as that is inefficient and ineffective. For example, many developing countries don’t use money or they only use a deregulated currency and they give people food instead. There is no right or wrong way to help people who need help. It’s also important to respect different cultures, ethnicity and unique economies. There must be and there needs to be choices about welfare and help. Universal income is very rigid, it’s forced on people, it advertises and distributes money in ways that are unsafe, and even tribal. Universal income also ignores modern welfare programming and systems, as well as developing countries. It also may infringe upon the mainstream where most people have a skill or a trade, they work and they have supports through their profession. Most people do work and can be competitive. Places where people work and don’t work can be different. Social services are limited where people are working. I prefer a variety of programming, Including recognized charities which variety according to needs. Income supplements through private and confidential tax breaks from the government could be a better alternative to universal income.
    I would like to point out that Philosophy or political philosophy students are often alternative, they may or may not work normally, they don’t follow rules or participate in regulated research, they look for others to pay for them when they could be independent and they need to more respectful to other professions. So again universal income is a philosophy and utopia, it inspires social workers. Real life is messy, complicated, and people have all different needs based on skills and abilities, health and education. Please respect complex systems, diverse programming, and not being lazy in real life, as well as diversity in helping and welfare. (Don’t let the philosophy students throw around cash).

  • e.j. breedveld

    Of the former writer key words in describing UBI are: philosophy, art, utopia: throwing around cash; lack of respect for cultures, ethnicity and unique economies; rigid; not supporting skills, trades and professions; being lazy.
    Dear oh dear, I’m sensing much fear and apprehension here.
    Offered alternatives by the writer are: charity and tax breaks. Isn’t that what welfare already is? Charity and tax breaks?
    I’m guessing that writer has never had to hold the hand out for welfare. Welfare is humiliating and degrading. It destroys the little bit of dignity that was left after being kicked out onto the street because the mega company you were working for has gone bust, which was essentially caused by incompetent management or failure to reach the company “targets”.
    Basically writer is for maintaining the status quo, where workers slave all hours for a bit op pay, never knowing (not if, but) when you’ll be fired again by company executives who are receiving astronomical income bonuses for being lazy and/or incompetent and/or corrupt, or all of the above. So where’s the pride in one;s profession here?

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