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UNITED KINGDOM: Leading think tank lists basic income in top 10 trends for 2016

Leading UK think tank Nesta lists basic income in the top 10 trends of 2016 that will have an impact on people’s lives. With the rise in interest throughout the world, it could be the year it is put to the test.

Over the last twelve months Europe has become a hotbed for basic income innovations. With trials due to be carried out in Finland, Holland and France, it is a critical moment for policy makers to understand the feasibility of adopting a universal basic income. In addition to these trials, there is a chance that the first form of basic income will be adopted in Switzerland in 2016 via a countrywide referendum.

In light of these important breakthroughs, the leading UK economic innovation think tank Nesta recently announced that they believe that 2016 could be the year in which universal basic income is put to the test, listing basic income as one of the top 10 list of trends to watch out for in 2016. Nesta believes that a basic income is an important policy idea that should be taken seriously, and that it could be a solution to some of the many challenges of the 21st century. As Brenton Caffin, from Nesta, asserts:

A basic income can provide a safety net for people wishing to retrain, which is worth considering given the massive technological changes that we anticipate in the decades ahead. It can enable citizens to make greater unpaid contributions to their communities, strengthening the fabric of social relations and reduce the burden of professional care. And the reduction in poverty brought about by a basic income can provide children with a much better start to life.

In the UK, a universal basic income has yet to gain much support from the political mainstream. Its major advocates include the Green party, along with Richard Murphy, Jeremy Corbyn’s economic advisor. In the past, the Liberal Democrats have also supported similar policies. This could change, however; NESTA believes it will be hard to ignore the trials going on throughout the world in 2016, and, as a result, a policy that traditionally has sat on the fringe of the political debate could be thrust into the spotlight.

For more information see the following source:

Brenton Caffin, “Universal basic income moves into beta,” NESTA, December 21, 2015.

About Joe Timothy

Joe Timothy has written 12 articles.

Joe is currently preparing to study for his PhD in 2016. He is looking into the feasiblity of introducing a Universal Basic Income in the UK. He is a keen blogger about social issues, politics, inequality, education and learning.

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.

One comment

  • Eagaly Tarian

    Nice article.
    I agree with the supposition that ‘basic income’ is an upcoming political trend. Particularly from the perspective of the UK it has great potential to unwrap the complex financial mess – and vitally – achieve this from within the system. It could be a viable alternative to a collapse when all of our bubbles eventually burst.
    My worry for the path of ‘basic income’ is that it will become bundled into ‘Red Scare’ style tactics by the ‘right-wing’ in the UK. One can see enough opposition to Corbyn’s Labour party on the basis of largely unfounded propaganda.
    The bifurcation point for basic income in the UK and the EU will be the point at which it either becomes reconciled with the European idea of a ‘Social State’ or whether the forces of the ‘free market’ will forbid such governmental interference in the economic sphere.

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