Alongside securing a regular supply of food, therefore, unless our governments plan to supplant the market economy entirely and move towards a system of resource-allocation that is less anarchic, one of their primary tasks must be to ensure that people have enough money in their pockets to buy it. This is where introducing a basic income becomes an option.
We advocate that an emergency basic income be provided through the direct cash transfer mechanism that Government of India has implemented. This will not only arrest potential social unrest but also ensure that there is continued aggregate demand to sustain our economy.
(Further articles about the needs of migrant workers in India can be found here and here)
For society to have the required resilience to survive this crisis and to recover from it, everybody must have the capacity to try to respond responsibly. If some groups are left vulnerable and deprived, all groups will be vulnerable and deprived. A basic income would give meaning to the claim that ‘we are all in this together’.
One of the contenders for the leadership of the UK’s Liberal Democratic Party has edited a a book of policy ideas for the party: Build Back Better. Among those policies is a Basic Income:
Nothing could be more uncertain than what will happen as we emerge from coronavirus. People have lost their jobs or are uncertain if there’ll be jobs to go back to. There has been an exponential increase in food bank usage. A huge number of people are applying for Universal Credit – many for the first time – and are left waiting five weeks for their first payment, pushing them nearer and nearer the brink. This comes on top of the likelihood of a deep recession, with all the ensuing impact on our wellbeing and our hope for the future.
UBI is not a silver bullet; we would, for example, need a separate, properly funded system to ensure that everyone has a safe and secure home. What UBI does is turn on its head our idea of the value each of us hold. It starts us on a clear path to a more equal society. It’s a tipping point at which we can reshape our society and our economy for the better.
When I first heard about UBI, I was far from convinced. But I watched, I worried, I read and I changed my mind. (Cllr Rhys Taylor, pages 29-30
The group studying the desirability and feasibility of a Basic Income pilot project in Scotland has published its final report.
“PARTNERS involved in exploring the feasibility of a Citizens’ Basic Income (CBI) pilot in Scotland have completed the draft final report on their findings. The report concludes a CBI pilot is desirable, but recognises the significant challenges involved. … “
BIEN has a new website. We hope you like it. It’s designed to be easy to navigate. The main menu has just three items: ‘Home’, ‘About Basic Income’, and ‘Frequently asked questions’. Anyone wanting more information can click the ‘news’, ‘opinion’, ‘research’, ‘media’, or ‘events’ buttons. At the bottom of every page you will find information about BIEN. And on the home page are the most recent news items.
Our thanks to the group that designed and created the site, and particularly to Amanda Wray for her technical assistance.
If you discover any problems with the site then please let us know. Thanks.
The 2020 BIEN Congress was to be held in Brisbane in Australia from the 28th to the 30th September 2020. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the event has been cancelled. BIEN’s Executive Committee and the Scottish and Australian congress Local Organising Committees have agreed the following statement: ‘The Scottish and Australian Congress Local Organisation Committees have agreed that the current plan is to hold the 2021 BIEN congress in Scotland and the 2022 BIEN congress in Australia.’
A Basic Income is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement. Read more