A citizen’s income – how this would work for Scotland to be explored

09.03.2017

The concept of a minimum guaranteed income, known as the citizen’s income, will today (9 March) be explored by the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee.

A citizen’s income works on the basis that individuals are guaranteed a minimum regular payment unconditionally.  The possibility of a citizen’s income scheme is currently being investigated for Glasgow and Fife.

The Committee will hear from a range of experts about how such an income would operate; as well as exploring issues such as what basic level of income would be sufficient, and whether this would work in Scotland given the current devolved powers.

Convener of the Social Security Committee, Sandra White MSP said:

“A citizen’s income is an idea which is being explored both internationally and here in Scotland. There is a lot of discussion about how it might work, especially in the context of the complexity of the current benefits system. Our meeting today will help us explore the practicality of such a system.

“With the new social security powers now devolved to the Parliament, we should be looking for new ideas and different approaches to social security policy. We must also ensure that these policies are right for Scotland and today’s session will help us do just that.”

At the meeting, the Committee will hear from:

  • Professor Donald Hirsch, Director, Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University;
  • Siobhan Mathers, Reform Scotland Advisory Board member;
  • Annie Miller, Chair, Citizen’s Income Trust and member of Citizen’s Basic Income Network in Scotland;
  • Howard Reed, Director, Landman Economics;
  • Anthony Painter, Director of the Action and Research Centre, RSA.

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