I’ve written several background papers for a series of seminars on Universal Basic Income, and the first of them has been put online by Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland. The series will include specific discussions about employment, rights and equalities, housing, care and implementation; I was asked to do papers for three of them (rights, housing and care). (The seminar series is organised by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute at Strathclyde University; details are available on request.) In due course, after the seminars are finished, I’ll be revising the papers for an integrated presentation.
I’m still sceptical. While I’ve always been sympathetic to arguments for more universal benefits and services, there are lots of key problems that need to be thought through before a scheme could be introduced. Too many of the published schemes either wave those problems aside or try to manage them by making poor people worse off. As things stand, the best possible schemes would not offer anything like an adequate, secure income.