New Report explains Citizens Basic Income ideas


The idea of a Citizens Basic Income has been explained in a new academic report.

What is the report and who is it from?

The report from JESP European Social Policy blog has provided a timely discussion of the meanings of basic income, negative income tax, and minimum income.   It is written by Malcolm Torry, an academic at the London School of Economics.

We previously discussed this idea here. 

The report outlines the recent research in various countries and concludes that:

“The increasingly widespread debate about Basic Income is too important for it to be allowed to be unintelligent. It is therefore incumbent on politicians, civil servants, think tank staff, journalists, and academics, to ensure the intelligence of their own contributions to the debate, and to do all they can to ensure the intelligence of the debate as a whole. Clear definitions will need to be stated and adhered to; logic will need to be rigorous and transparent; and research must be of the highest quality”

What does the report have to say about financial feasibility of a Citizens Income?

The report defines four aspects which would define financial feasibility;
1. The scheme must be revenue neutral or funding must be found.
2. No significant income losses should be found by low income households and no permanent losses in any household.
3. All poverty and inequality indices should fall
4. Significant numbers of households should be taken off means tested benefits, or they should be abolished.

What does the report recommend should happen now?

The author recommends using microsimulation, a computer programme into which a country’s financial arrangements can be coded to compare outcomes with and without a Universal Basic Income. The statistics would be comparable to see if the financial feasibility criteria can be met.

Sources and Notes