I welcome the news that the Work and Pensions Committee is holding a one-off oral evidence session on citizen’s income (also known as universal basic income) at the University of Birmingham on 12 January 2017.
A Basic Income (Citizen’s Income or Universal Grant) is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income for every individual as a right of citizenship. Similar to a. Child Benefit, it is for everyone, and is tax-exempt.
I has previously discussed the topic with representatives of Citizen’s Income Trust, RSA and Citizen’s Basic Income Network Scotland. I lead a Westminster Hall debate on the issue on Wednesday 14th September.
After holding the first parliamentary debate on universal basic income (UBI), I am delighted to hear that the Work and Pensions Committee is holding a one-off oral evidence session on the subject.
As I previously indicated, if you had a blank sheet of paper and were asked to design a welfare system nobody, but nobody, would come up with the system that we have now. The current system is complex and not fit for purpose.
I hope those putting the case for a UBI are given a genuine opportunity to explain their reasoning.
Link to my parliamentary debate on Universal Basic Income – https://hansard.digiminster.com/Commons/2016-09-14/debates/1B16BDDC-5BB5-40AB-93E0-A78D0A39BF5B/UniversalBasicIncome