New NHS research echoes our calls to boost social security spending & introduce Basic Income

The Scottish Greens welcomed research published today by NHS Health Scotland that echoes the party's calls to boost social security spending and introduce a Universal Basic Income.

The "Income-based policies in Scotland: how would they affect health and health inequalities?" research modelled the effects of a wide range of income-based policies on health and health inequalities.

Increases to means-tested benefits would have the biggest positive impact on health outcomes, the research shows.

Scottish Greens have called for a range of measures to increase the value of reserved and devolved social security benefits, including a £5 top-up to Child Benefit; raising Carer's benefit to £93 and ensuring all payments are raised to reflect increases in the cost of living.

Of the policies modelled, the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) with additional payments for disabled people would be most cost-effective for both reducing premature mortality and reducing inequalities in premature mortality.

UBI has been Scottish Green policy since the party's foundation in 1990, with Greens backing current Scottish Government-funded research into the feasibility of a UBI in Scotland.

Green social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said:

"The link between low incomes and poor health has long been accepted, which is why Greens have for some time now been calling for measures to boost the incomes of poorer Scots households. I am delighted that NHS Health Scotland research shows that policies such as benefit top-ups and a Universal Basic Income would narrow health inequalities more than any other measures modelled.

"I hope this spurs the Scottish Government to consider bolder options to boost the incomes of poorer households."