The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) just published a new report entitled “A Basic Income for Scotland”.

The report is organized in four main sections:

  1. How the welfare system in the UK – and in Scotland in particular – is failing to reduce poverty and economic insecurity, within its own terms.
  2. Presentation of the updated findings on the basic income trial presently ongoing in Fife.
  3. Modelling the impact of a basic income in Scotland (by Landman Economics).
  4. Analysing political, legal and administrative scenarios enabling a first Scotland-wide basic income experiment, in the path for its implementation in the region.

The report also features direct input from potencial beneficiaries of the Fife basic income trial (which is still under study / consideration), a precious contribution from those directly affected by the current system of means-testing conditional social security. Taking the example of Fife, Painter and his colleagues have projected that “£2400 a year would half destitution and reduce relative household poverty by 8,5%. A basic income of £4800 a year would end destitution and reduce relative household poverty by 33%.” It’s relevant to notice that the Scottish living wage is currently £9 per hour, which for a regular 8 h/day job amounts to about 1440 £/month. So, these basic income amounts under consideration are only 14 and 28% of what it takes to live comfortably in Scotland.

Anthony Painter summarizes how a basic income in Scotland could be tested within a whole set of other public policies in place:

“In A Basic Income for Scotland we map how pilots of basic income could work with a full set of supports alongside cash payments. We call this community designed system of interlocking public, community, and employer supports wrapped around basic income a ‘Civic Basic income’.”

More information at:

Anthony Painter, “The case for basic income is growing. Scotland can take it forward”, RSA, May 8th 2019

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 367 articles.

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