Johnstone welcomes funding for councils to research Universal Basic Income
Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP today (24 May) welcomed the award of £250,000 to 4 Local Authorities to conduct research into Universal Basic Income (UBI), a longstanding Scottish Green Party policy.
The Scottish Government’s Citizens Basic Income Feasibility Studies Fund will award the full amount to a joint bid from Local Authorities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, North Ayrshire and Fife.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
"This is a wonderful opportunity to fully explore an idea that Scottish Greens have been campaigning for since our foundation almost 30 years ago.
"A Universal Basic Income has the potential to be transformative in so many ways.
"It would largely replace the fundamentally discredited and increasingly dysfunctional UK social security system, and offer everyone dignity and security with an reliable, unconditional payment, free from the threat of sanctions.
"It would also recognise the unpaid labour so many of our citizens undertake, especially women; and allow people to take time away from work to study, care and take-up training.
"The funding now available will allow us to more fully explore the possibilities of such an approach, and develop concrete proposals to inform discussion on the future of social security.
"On behalf of the Scottish Greens, I offer congratulations to the four Local Authorities and look forward to the proposals they will develop."
UBI is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income payable to each individual as a right of citizenship. Under this scheme everyone would be guaranteed an income high enough to provide their basic needs of shelter, food, clothing and heating. It would not be means-tested, would be non-taxable and there would be no requirement to be either working or actively seeking work. Extra payments would be available for specific needs, like additional costs arising from disability, but most existing benefits would be replaced by the UBI.