The 15th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network was held in Montreal at McGill University from June 27 to June 29, 2014, and a pre-conference North American day was held on June 26. The event was sold out with well over 200 people attending. Street art in Boulevard Saint Laurent, Labrona -Basic Income [...]
During the 2014 elections for the European Parliament, the Basic Income Earth Network, at the request of its partner, Unconditional Basic Income Europe, signed an open letter to all candidates for the European parliament. The full text of the open letter follows.
It’s a bit bizarre if you ever stop and think about rent. When you’re homeless, though, you have a lot of time to think, and it’s hard to think about anything other than paying rent. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to find yourself homeless and don’t have friends or family to crash with, you [...]
A seminar and round-table discussion entitled ‘Beyond Welfare Reform to a Citizen’s Income: the desirability and feasibility of a CI scheme’, was hosted by Jim Eadie, Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) on Wednesday 15 January at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. Over 60 people attended, including four other MSPs and some Parliamentary Assistants. The majority of the participants were employees and activists in the Voluntary Sector, together with representatives from several Scottish churches, civil servants, academics, and some private individuals.
No doubt most Basic Income News readers are aware of an interesting intersection where the arguments for basic income overlap with the arguments on how to best control global warming.
Discussions of the advantages of a universal unconditional and nonwithdrawable benefits will generally list both the lower marginal deduction rates that individuals would experience compared with those imposed by means-tested benefits, and such social benefits as a greater social cohesion generated by everyone receiving the same Citizen’s Income. What is not always recognised is that changes experienced by one individual might cause changes for another.
The purchase of Oculus by Facebook for $2 billion is the new best example of the growing inequality inherent in 21st century capitalism – what Paul Mason describes as the The Fourth Wave. A few people just got really rich, while the thousands of people who helped build the company from nothing, through $2.5 million of crowdsourced capital and a thriving open-source developer community didn’t.
The increasing use of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) has perhaps been one of the most significant additions to the social development agenda of late. CCTs are now key components of many governments’ poverty elimination programmes and feature centrally in the UN’s current Social Protection Floor initiative. The mainstream media has also taken note and lent support in favour of their adoption.
This essay begins and ends with a genuine question: Given the proven desirability and financial feasibility of a Citizen’s Income, why does a Citizen’s Income not appear to be politically feasible?
It must be exceedingly frustrating for ministers and civil servants that every attempt that the Government makes to simplify the UK’s benefits system results in increasing complexity. Take the example of Universal Credit: One of its aims is to ensure that payments will be permanently accurate because based on real-time information about wages being passed seamlessly from employers to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and then on to the Department for Work and Pensions, thus alleviating claimants of the need to declare changes in earnings.