Universal Basic Income for Scotland

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The Citizens Basic Income Network (CBIN) for Scotland has been working towards the goal of implementing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Scotland. They propose a basic living income for each and every individual in a society, regardless of a person’s economic/social background. This is quite a radical change from the current situation in most countries, where multiple complex needs-tested benefit systems are in place.

The idea of providing each member of a country with a basic income is growing in popularity and many countries across the world are debating the issues surrounding implementation of such an idea. I am a firm believer in the critical need for an unconditional UBI. With the ever increasing pressures of overpopulation and the growing concerns of providing sufficient and decent jobs for people, particularly in the face of advancing technology, the UBI initiative could offer a promising and socially ethical solution.

Living in one of the more deprived areas of Edinburgh, the consequences of economic and social inequality are plain to see and have a huge impact on individuals and society as a whole. One of the most striking, and I believe avoidable, aspects of poverty is the lack of hope and ambition in those affected by it. When people are deprived of basic economic stability, little attention can be afforded to future prospects. Not only does this type of stress and despondence lead to myriad health issues in individuals, but it is also detrimental to the functioning of societies in general.

The receipt of a basic living income would have a life-changing effect on millions of individuals, with consequent benefits to the country as a whole. If people have a basic sense of stability, they are much more likely to pursue the types of work that truly interest them. The impact on the voluntary sector would be significant as more people would have the opportunity to volunteer (for example by combining some part-time work with volunteering activities) and this is particularly important when the need for carers is as great as it is.

Why the contribution is important

I strongly believe that Scotland has the capabilities, and the social foundation, to pioneer a radical new system with social equality and justice as central driving forces. It’s very unlikely that the current pandemic will be the last such issue we face as a country and having a UBI system in place would help to mitigate some of the issues these challenges present and put Scotland in a much stronger position for the future.

by DM on May 07, 2020 at 10:13AM

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