Annie Miller, a co-founder of BIEN, has just published a new book, Basic Income: A Short Guide (Edinburgh: Luath Press). This is a clear, concise, and complete work that should be in the library of every supporter of basic income (BI).
The book begins with a critique of modern social insurance systems and means-tested social assistance safety nets and then sets forth an enhanced definition of BI that builds on the current definition found on the BIEN website. This new definition is informed by Annie’s participation in the BIEN task force currently working on improving this definition and was presented by her at the 22nd BIEN Congress in Seoul that just ended. To the five BIEN characteristics (periodic, cash payment, individual, universal, and unconditional) she adds a sixth, uniform: “the amount of a basic income is the same/equal for everyone within a given jurisdiction at a given time and does not vary according to pre-existing categories or circumstances.” She then argues that this uniform basic income should be a foundational element in a broader social protection plan that also includes “adequacy top-up payments, other differential benefits, targeted and non-uniform means-tested benefits, and other cash benefits for which basic income is not a good substitute, such as a welfare fund for emergency payments for fire or flood.”
The book goes on to discuss many practical issues such as integrating a basic income into existing social assistance programs, sources of finance, affordability issues, economic benefits, political support, empirical evidence from around the world, the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, other recent developments, and suggestions for what BI supporters can do to advance the cause. It ends with a select bibliography – all this in 80 compact pages, a true tour de force.
A meeting of the Basic Income Earth Network General Assembly will be held online, in connection with the 2023 BIEN Congress, on Saturday, 26 August 2023 at 13:00h British Summer Time (UTC+1).
If you are interested in becoming a member, you can do so by following the few simple steps outlined here. Please note that new memberships cannot be received at the meeting or during the week before it.
Invitation to affiliated organizations to apply to host the 2025 congress. Please apply by writing to the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following documents will be useful for members to review ahead of this year’s General Assembly meeting:
If you would like to have copies of the papers with you at the meeting, please print them out or have them available on your screen.
Opening of GA and welcome
Confirmation by the Chair that a register of members present has been taken
Approval of the agenda
Approval of the minutes of the 2022 General Assembly
Matters arising from the minutes not elsewhere on the agenda
Treasurer’s report, annual report and accounts for 2022, and financial statement for the period 1st January to 30th June 2023.
Appointment of auditor: Proposal that Tony Garrood should be reappointed as auditor.
Elections to the Executive Committee: 1. Chair; 2. Vice Chair; 3. Affiliates Coordinator; 4. Academic Research Editor
Report from the Chair and Vice-Chair
Other Executive Committee reports
Report from the Clarification of the Basic Income Definition working group established at the 2019 General Assembly
Affiliation requests received: Sri Lanka
Bath, UK as venue for the 2024 congress
Venue for the 2025 congress
Any other business (which should be notified to the Chair before the meeting begins)
Close of meeting
The rules for running the General Assembly will be those found in BIEN’s constitution. Those rules likely to be relevant to the management of the General Assembly are as follows:
10 (2) Taking ordinary decisions by vote … any decision of the members of the CIO may be taken by means of a resolution at a general meeting. Such a resolution may be passed by a simple majority of votes cast at the meeting …
11 (3) (a) The charity trustees … must give at least 14 clear days notice of any general meeting to all of the members … (b) If it is agreed by not less than 90% of all members of the CIO, any resolution may be proposed and passed at the meeting even though the requirements of sub-clause (3) (a) of this clause have not been met. This sub-clause does not apply where a specified period of notice is strictly required.
11 (4) Chairing of general meetings. The person nominated as chair … shall, if present at the general meeting and willing to act, preside as chair of the meeting. Subject to that, the members of the CIO who are present at a general meeting shall elect a chair to preside at the meeting.
11 (5) Quorum at general meetings. No business may be transacted at any general meeting of the members of the CIO unless a quorum is present when the meeting starts. … the quorum for general meetings shall be the greater of 3% or three members. …