Author Archives: Ian Orton

OPINION: Conditional Cash Transfers and the Human Right to Social Securit

The increasing use of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) has perhaps been one of the most significant additions to the social development agenda of late. CCTs are now key components of many governments’ poverty elimination programmes and feature centrally in the UN’s current Social Protection Floor initiative. The mainstream media has also taken note and lent support in favour of their adoption.

» Read more

Singularity Utopia. “Is Basic Income Impossible? 2013 Costing for UK #Basic Income”

[Ian Orton] Invariably, the first reaction to the BI proposal is ‘how would it be financed?’ This article argues that a BI of £13,000 per annum is possible for all UK adults. Various financing scenarios are considered, broadly based on a combined financing method consisting of increased national insurance contributions, doubling of income tax (low-income earners would, apparently, be better

» Read more

Annie Lowrey, “Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive”

News of the forthcoming Swiss referendum on the Basic Income proposal continues to make inroads in the popular press; this time across the Atlantic where The New York Times features this important political moment in a positive light. The article runs through the manifold arguments in favour of the idea, elaborates on the different types of proposal that could come

» Read more

Mehdi Hasan. “We could fix our economy by giving every man, woman and child £6,000 in cash”

This article, in the New Statesman, criticizes the ineffectiveness of quantitative easing [QE] in the UK and how it has benefited the banking sector and the richest. It suggest the amount spent so far of 375bn could have be ‘given instead as around £6,000 per man, woman and child in the UK. So why not electronically add this to the

» Read more

The Economist. “Cash to the poor, Pennies from heaven: Giving money directly to poor people works surprisingly well. But it cannot deal with the deeper causes of poverty”

  The evidence that simply giving cash to the poor and vulnerable households is successful is well accepted by those familiar with the BI.  Elsewhere, in more mainstream debate this recognition has lagged somewhat behind the empirical evidence, until now where a change seems to be afoot. A recent article in The Economist: “Cash to the poor: Pennies from heaven”

» Read more

OPINION: The UN Social Protection Floor ‘Global fund’: An entry point for the basic income?

In 2011, the United Nations, fronted by Michelle Bachelet, head initiative of UN Women, launched the Social Protection Floor initiative. This initiative aims to support the development of social protection worldwide. Arguably, this development represents an opportunity for more experimentation with basic income and possibly fully-fledged basic income programmes.

» Read more

The International Labour Organisation’s analysis of social transfers worldwide augurs well for a Citizen’s Income in the context of middle and low-income countries

To support its campaign on the global extension of social security, in 2008 the International Labour Organisation (ILO) undertook a study of 126 research reports on tax-financed social transfer programmes (STs) operating worldwide. 62 programmes from 30 developing countries were analysed. These STs reach between 300 and 350 million beneficiaries – children, working adults, and elderly people – and represent

» Read more