How Does It Work?

A Citizen's Basic Income would promote social cohesion, and enterprise.

Every week, or every month, everyone would receive their Citizen’s Basic Income into their bank account. It would start when they were born, and would stop when they died. The amount would change when they became a young adult, and then again when they became a working age adult – and it would change for one final time when they reached state retirement age. Otherwise the only change in the amount would be the annual uprating.

Because someone’s Citizen’s Basic Income would never be taken away, it would

  • provide a secure financial platform to build on
  • enable the employment market to become more flexible at the same time as enhancing income security
  • give to everyone more choices over the number of hours for which they were employed
  • enable carers to balance their caring and other responsibilities, and
  • make it easier to start new businesses or to go self-employed
  • encourage personal freedom, creativity, and voluntary activity

Because everyone would get a Citizen’s Basic Income, it would

  • create social cohesion, and
  • carry no stigma

Because the Citizen’s Basic Income would never be withdrawn, it would

  • reduce the poverty trap for low income families, enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty by seeking new skills, better jobs, or additional hours of employment
  • reduce the unemployment trap, so getting a job would always mean additional disposable income
  • always be worth putting money aside
  • act only as a static subsidy to wages. Means-tested benefits function as dynamic subsidies – that is, they rise if wages fall, which can encourage wage-cutting – whereas a Citizen’s Basic Income would not rise if wages fell, so employers might experience more resistance if they attempted to cut wages.

Because a Citizen’s Basic Income would be simple and efficient, it would

  • be easy to understand
  • be cheap to administer and easy to automate
  • not be prone to errors or fraud

Next: Why do we need it?