Chris Goulden’s recent JRF blog post about Citizen’s Basic Income

Chris Goulden, who works for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has written a new blog post about Citizen’s Basic Income:

If pressed, I’d say UBI opens up a helpful debate about conditionality and means-testing – we agree with many of the criticisms of current system, for example, it can be stigmatising and overly-complex.

The results from the aborted experiment in Finland and the ‘pilots’ in Scotland (from this year) and elsewhere should be monitored, and of course we should remain open to evidence that is contrary to the modelling that has so far been carried out. One major issue is that we don’t really know yet how people would respond to a true UBI in practice.

The fact that the Finnish trial has been cut short (and the work in Scotland is likely to remain merely theoretical) seems unlikely to take the debate much further. These examples indicate the practical difficulties with implementing a true UBI. Rather than continuing to be distracted by it, we should focus on improving the social security system that we have already got – God knows it needs it. A start would be to restore the work allowances in Universal Credit for parents and ensure that benefits are enough for people to keep up with the cost of essentials.

Click here to read the opinion piece.