Good idea - but not radical enough. Amounts to UC without conditionality.

Other than a change in the level of conditionality required and potentially the value of the guarantee, I do not see much difference between an MIG and the current Universal Credit. The proposal of an MIG would require Means Testing, which I am not wholly against. However, it should be noted that as soon as a system opens to means testing, it then involves additional expense as it is more complex to assess. Before proceeding down MIG, the government should show the cost difference between MIG and UBI. However, I am generally supportive of an MIG, along the lines of Universal Credit principles without the conditionality. Working in Financial Inclusion I have long been of the opinion that conditionality is pointless. The vast majority of UC claimants will seek work without prompting on their own terms, are not fit to do so (either short or long term) or it is impractical for them to do so (due to caring or childcare commitments). There is a publicly funded industry around conditionality which would represent a massive saving if it were removed. The Key Elements of a Minimum Income Guarantee should be Personal Allowance (tailored to working age and pensionable age) Housing Child Element Health and Disability Assistance Childcare Carer's The benefits of a MIG scheme are many. Savings from reduced administration costs around conditionality Improved health outcomes particularly in poor mental health, which would have resultant savings for health services Improved educational outcomes for children and improved access to further and higher education by removing the need for Student Loans (another saving as well by reduced admin costs associated with awards and recovery) Building more cohesive communities and improving the discourse around social security. Increased government revenue through VAT etc. Although I would note that these outcomes would not be as positive in MIG as they would under UBI, and I remain unconvinced that there would be a substantial cost difference in the round between the two schemes and the current system. when looked at in the round. Risks Cost - governments have a tendency to overspend on infrastructure, delivery, IT. This would have to be closely monitored. MIG has the potential to create a them and us attitude, whereas UBI would promote cohesiveness but would have to be accompanied by significant taxation reform to ensure higher earners do not disproportionately benefit. Next Steps It is a major change in culture and could experience push back. Broad consultation involving stakeholders with society. This would include employers, trade unions, community organisations, HSCPs and potentially a citizens assembly to get a broad view from society. Utilise powers currently within SG domain to vary and amend UC. These could be used to amend conditionality and amend some of the perverse elements (such as the poor treatment of 4 weekly paid claimants), This would effectively allow a MIG scheme.

Why the contribution is important

I believe that I have presented a balanced and objective view, with constructive points to consider.

by alang on August 18, 2021 at 09:31AM

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Average rating: 3.5
Based on: 8 votes


  • Posted by Dober67 August 21, 2021 at 13:02

    As someone who is disabled and has tried to access UC, this benefit is not fit for the 21st century, but, a Mig is. I am not in favour of a UBI, because certain areas have different living costs, and trying to say everyone should have the same, would mean some people would have some advantage and others wouldn’t. UC, is an extremely harsh benefit, and extremely stressful for a great number of people, and having a MIG, would hopefully even out incomes for a lot of people. Some disabled people cannot access UC, and to a lot of people, there are too many different benefits that people have to navigate, and to try and make sure, that a certain benefit doesn’t cancel another one. Also, hopefully a MIG would finally eradicate people having to use a food bank, or charities, or choosing between food or fuel. But, it does need lots of considerations being being looked at, including who will receive it, what they would receive, how it would be delivered, and most importantly the cost of this benefit being rolled out. We have too many companies giving quotes, then doubling or tripling them, and extremely long delays in getting it up and running. This should be allocated to a company who has been closely looked at by not just the Scottish government but others will a vested interest in this benefit being rolled out in a timely fashion.
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