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London School of Economics article about the importance of research

The London School of Economics has published an article about the importance of research, ‘The Basic Income debate needs high quality research’.

During the past few years, increasing employment insecurity has fuelled growing interest in the idea of a Basic Income (also known as a Universal Basic Income, a Citizen’s Income, or a Citizen’s Basic Income): an unconditional income for every individual. The coronavirus crisis, which worsened both employment and income, intensifies that interest in Basic Income yet further. Debate about social policy needs high quality research, using the best available tools. ...

Our work provides just one example of a Recovery Basic Income and of a feasible permanent Basic Income to follow it. In the context of the lively debate about Basic Income, alternative illustrative schemes will no doubt emerge. What is essential is that the best possible research methods should be employed to evaluate them.

To read the article, click here.

About Malcolm Torry

Malcolm Torry has written 23 articles.

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.


  • Joyce Ireson

    If the basic income is supposed to give everyone enough to live on free from means tested benefits how on earth would £30 a week added to our miserly state pension do that.The basic state pension is £134-25 a week (where some pensioners receive a lot less)which adds up to £164-25 roughly £10 less than pension credit. I can’t see the logic of it anymore and I think it’s a waste of time.

    • Dan

      Our current system has been cut back and isn’t adequate, this research is only using the same inadequate amount of money and even though UBI is a superior way of doing things it can’t do the fish and bread miracle.
      What would be more interesting is a system that isn’t trying to use the same amount of money, like what could it be if we equalised capital gains tax with income taxes or introduced a land value tax or a carbon tax to provide additional funding.

    • Malcolm Torry

      The definition of ‘Basic Income’ does not include ‘enough to live on’. (See the definitions on the websites of the Citizen’s Basic Income Trust and BIEN: The Basic Income Earth Network):

      The additional unconditional £30 per week for elderly people in the illustrative scheme is designed to a) prevent disposable income losses for elderly people still employed due to the reduction in the Income Tax Personal Allowance, b) reduce poverty among elderly people. Every elderly person would receive the unconditional £30.

      No claim is made in the article that the permanent illustrative Basic Income scheme would be sufficient to live on; and the Recovery Basic Income would not on its own provide everyone with sufficient to live on either.

      It would be nice to be able to publish an illustrative scheme that would provide sufficient to live on: but at the moment there is no such scheme that would be feasible to implement in the UK. If a feasible smaller scheme were to be implemented then later on it might be possible to increase the amounts. To ask at this stage for a scheme that would be enough to live on would be to close down the debate, because it would simply not be possible to implement such a scheme.

      The important thing about a Basic Income is that for the first time it would provide everyone with a layer of income that would never be taken away. It would just keep on coming, whatever else happened to them. And the illustrative scheme in the article would reduce both poverty and inequality. You must decide whether that would be a waste of time.

      Best wishes


      Dr. Malcolm Torry

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