Ronnie Cowan MP asks the Chancellor of the Exchequer to fund UK Citizen’s Basic Income pilots

Ronnie Cowan MP (SNP) has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, to urge the UK Government to follow the lead of the Scottish Government, and to announce funding for research into the feasibility of a Citizen’s Basic Income in the forthcoming UK Budget in November.

In its recent Programme for Government, the Scottish Government announced funding for research into the potential for a universal basic income.  Four local authorities (Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow & North Ayrshire) have all indicated they are considering piloting a basic income.

Mr Cowan led the first ever debate on Citizen’s Basic Income at Westminster  and has previously raised the matter with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Mr Cowan recently returned from attending and participating in the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) Congress which took place in Lisbon, Portugal (25-27th September).

Mr Cowan says:

I wholeheartedly welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to establish a fund to support local authorities as they develop their own basic income schemes. The Scottish Government will also task its Poverty and Inequality Commission with drawing together the experiences of these local schemes to inform Government thinking on a Basic Income . They will provide useful data for any country in the world that wishes to build on them.

The Basic Income pilot projects are vitally important to the debate. To design, run and monitor pilots and analyse the results takes a great deal of expertise and effort but they may have the potential to shine a light on any shortcomings – opportunities and ultimately produce solutions.

I believe it’s time for the UK Government to follow the Scottish Government’s lead and fund research into the feasibility of a basic income and announce similar measures in the forthcoming UK Budget in November.

To read Mr. Cowan’s letter to the Chancellor, click here.