Opinion survey results from the RSA

In preparation for their recent report on Citizen’s Basic Income, the Royal Society of Arts commissioned a detailed opinion survey. Some conclusions that can be drawn from the report can be found here, along with a link to the report on pilot projects.

Data, analysis and commentary can be found in these three documents:

Charlie Young, who wrote the report, has offered some additional commentary on the survey results:

  • The biggest objection to basic income amongst those who oppose it is that it is unaffordable (73%), followed by the idea that it would disincentivise work (72%). There is a strong correlation (perhaps the strongest in these results overall) between support for basic income and views on affordability and work, suggesting these are (as expected) core issues on which to base arguments and convince the electorate. Those who neither support nor oppose basic income in principle are also the most liekly to be unsure about affordability and work, meaning there is room for dialogue/discussion.
  •  Those who see the role of the welfare state as “supporting the vulnerable” are most likely to be pro basic income, by 3:1 (compared to 2:1 in the population as a whole). They are evenly split on whether basic income is affordable (27%:27%) and disagree with the statement that it would disincentivise work (by 29% to 36%).
  •  Those who see the role of the welfare state as supporting “traditional values” are the least likely to support basic income, although still support in aggregate – 39% to 31%. This groups is also the most likely to think that basic income could reduce crime (52% to 17%) and the group who most think that it would increased personal agency (62%). Perhaps there is space for dialogue with right-communitarians on this.