UCL Institute for Global Prosperity report suggesting Universal Basic Services

University College London’s Institute for Global Prosperity has published a report that recommends what it calls ‘Universal Basic Services’. To read the report, click here; and to read a review by Anthony Painter, click here.







  • Conall

    This Report is well worth a read, and suggests that both cash (UBI) and universal services could work in tandem to transform the lives of citizens for the better.

    It makes some well-aimed criticisms against UBI however.

    “basic income does not directly address the two most expensive and problematic aspects of the current UK welfare system;
    —disability and incapacity related benefits and
    —help with housing costs.”

    We at CI have always dodged the housing cost issue, and leave Housing Benefit in place. The solution for housing (in my personal opinion) is Land Value Tax, which would bring down the price of houses, but would at the same time provides a huge cash flow which would go some way towards fixing the ‘affordability’ problem of an adequate Citizens Income.

    Disability is trickier. The benefit rules in Thatcher’s great unemployment spree of the 1980s created sharp incentives to claim disability. Their numbers rose from one to three million. By the same token, the incentive of UBI “Here’s enough money to live on. Now go away and make something of your life!”, would have the opposite effect. For the best of reasons, and driven by a proud human spirit, far fewer people would think of themselves as disabled. Yes, UBI could work miracles!