News; News & Events

UNITED KINGDOM: New government scrapes the child trust fund

The new Conservative/Liberal-Democratic coalition government of Great Britain has announced that it will rescind the one step in the direction of a universal basic income made by the previous Labour government. In 2002, the Labour government created “the Child Trust Fund” which gave each child born in Britain that year a 250GBP plus another 250GBP when reaching ate 7. The bonds reach maturity when the child turns 18, at which time the bonds would be potentially worth thousands of pounds. The idea was that every child born in Britain should have some small share of inheritance. The ruling government announced that the program will be entirely phased by 2011, so that only children born between 2002 and 2010 will receive any part of the fund.

Stuart White, a professor of Political Theory at Oxford, commented, “So the party of ‘property-owning democracy’ (Tories) and ‘ownership for all’ (Liberals) combine to end the first policy ever to guarantee an asset for all young people.”

Martin O’Neill, a political philosopher at the University of York (UK), pointed out that the announcement of the repeal of the Child Trust Fund was made by Gideon George Osborne, who sits in the British “House of Commons” despite being the heir apparent of Osborne Baronetcy. He stands to become the 18th Baronet of Ballintaylor, and according to O’Neill, Osborne has already inherited a personal trust fund of more than 4 million pounds.

A blog about the demise of the trust fund is online at:

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 952 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website ( More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.