A response to a recent article in The Independent

John Rentoul has written an article entitled ‘Basic Income is the latest bad political idea that refuses to die’.

We would not normally write a critical response to such articles, but the selective use of research results in the article suggests that a response might be appropriate. The following response will therefore be found at the end of Mr. Rentoul’s article:

The working paper that you refer to contains the results of research on three different illustrative schemes ( – these are not schemes that we propose: they are merely illustrative). The scheme that you refer to is scheme C, and the paper recognises that this is not a feasible scheme. The paper also recognises that scheme B would be perfectly feasible. More recent research on this scheme carried out at the Institute for Social and Economic Research can be found here.

If you are interested in an in-depth study of Citizen’s Income’s feasibility, then you might wish to refer to my book, The Feasibility of Citizen’s Income (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016):

Thank you for your interest in this important debate.

Mr. Rentoul has used research results selectively in the same way as Conservative Member of Parliament Julian Knight during a Westminster Hall debate last September. The transcript of the debate runs as follows:

Universal Basic Income

Hansard, 14 September 2016, Volume 614, 4.38 pm,

Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP)

I beg to move, That this House has considered universal basic income. …

Julian Knight (Solihull) (Con)

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing this debate. He mentions the EUROMOD report by Mr Torry, and I wonder whether he saw the part of the report in which it is stated that, in order to support a universal basic income, the basic rate of income tax would have to rise to 48 pence in the pound. Can he say how on earth that is supportable in a modern economy?

To see the transcript of the entire debate, click here.