Paul Spicker’s new seminar papers

Paul Spicker has written a blog post about a new series of seminar papers on Citizen’s Basic Income. The first of the papers is now available on the website of our sister organisation, Citizen’s Basic Income Network Scotland. To read the paper, click here.

Paul says in his blog ,

As things stand, the best possible schemes would not offer anything like an adequate, secure income

This is true: but there is more to be said.

Whether Paul includes the Citizen’s Basic Income scheme recently published by the Institute for Social and Economic Research among ‘the best possible schemes’ only he could say: but if he does then we have to agree that £63 per week for working age adults, along with the enhanced Child Benefit in the scheme, would not between them offer ‘anything like an adequate secure income’ if by that phrase Paul means ‘enough to live on’. However, for a family of two adults and two children, enhanced Child Benefit of £74.40 + the Citizen’s Basic Income of £126 for the two adults would add up to £200 per week. This would not be enough to live on, and it would have to be supplemented by wages and/or in-work or out-of-work means-tested benefits: but £200 per week would still be what we might call a substantial secure income. For the first time, that family would have a substantial secure income that would never be at risk, in a context in which all other income sources, whether wages or means-tested benefits (UC, WTC, CTC, JSA, … ), are constantly at risk.

As this particular scheme ensures almost no losses for low income households at the point of implementation, reduced poverty, reduced inequality, Income Tax rates raised by only 3%, revenue neutrality, and lots of households coming off means-tested benefits, and even more within striking distance of coming off them, it is worth careful attention, even though the Citizen’s Basic Income on its own might not be enough to live on.

Paul Spicker is not the only one who would like to see a larger secure income. The problem is that if we impose the above outcomes as a set of constraints then it is not possible to get the working age adult Citizen’s Basic Income any higher than £63 per week. If we loosen the constraints then we can of course take the level a lot higher – but then we would risk infeasibility.

Thank you to Paul Spicker for this project, and to the Citizen’s Basic Income Network Scotland for publishing it.