More press interest in Citizen’s Income

There has been some interesting press coverage of a Citizen’s Income during the last couple of weeks.

Larry Elliott, in the Guardian, dedicated an entire column to the possibility. More recently, Evgeny Morozov has recommended a Citizen’s Income as the way to run a welfare system in the networked society into which we are now moving.

As always, there is plenty of comment on the problems that the Department for Work and Pensions is having with the implementation of Universal Credit ( – we really do wish that Iain Duncan Smith had chosen a different name for this combination of means-tested benefits. It is neither universal nor is it strictly a credit). Yesterday Toby Helm wrote a long and detailed assessment of the Department’s problems with implementation. He concludes: ‘So Duncan Smith soldiers on, still hoping that universal credit will one day cement his place in history’.

Rather more quietly, the Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, is establishing something close to a Citizen’s Pension. His Single Tier State Pension will take millions of pensioners out of means-testing over the next few decades. A Secretary of State who delivered a  Citizen’s Income by modelling benefits reform on Child Benefit and on the Single Tier State Pension would not only cement their place in history but would provide our society and economy with the benefits system that it’s going to need as social and economic change continues to accelerate.