Should we give every Briton a basic monthly income? For some it’s the key to stamping out exploitation for others it’s a ticket to laziness…
Should everyone receive a small monthly lump sum, regardless of how much money they have, how much they earn or how much they do?
For many it may seem a radical idea, but it’s one that’s gaining popularity around the globe.
The Universal Basic Income is being trialled in several countries today, but has been talked about across the political spectrum for centuries, from Thomas More in 1516 to Bertrand Russell, Milton Friedman and even arguably President Nixon.
The idea is that everyone should receive a small amount of money – not enough to live in luxury, but enough to get by – simply as a right for being a citizen.
Monthly payment: A universal basic income would see all citizens receive a monthly allowance, no strings attached
On this episode of the Big Money Questions, one of the major proponents of the UBI, Guy Standing, talks through why he believes it’s a good idea, what it would fix, how it would work and how much people would get.
He also addresses the thorny issues of whether or not it would discourage people from working, how we would pay for it and what would happen if its presence in one country enticed people from others.
Among other things, Guy suggests that a UBI would free people from oppression – relationships, poverty or employers – and allow people the space to think more clearly and make better decisions. It would also reduce crime and even levels of smoking and drug taking.
Watch the video below and see if you agree.
Dr Guy Standing is the author of The Precariat and Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen, and a co-founder and co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network.