Scotland Finance

Why Basic Income Matters for Councillors


In this blog Ben Simmons and Cleo Goodman of CBINS give us some background to basic income in Scotland and invite you to participate in a collaborative workshop series that unites academics, practitioners and policy makers. You can listen to more from Ben and Cleo in our recent interview with CBINS.

Citizen’s Basic Income Network Scotland are a volunteer run charity advocating for a basic income in Scotland and helping people, the public, practitioners, policy makers and academics join in the discussion. Scottish Government have allocated funds to basic income feasibility studies and local government will play a vital role in in shaping the business case that will be made for a basic income, due for submission in March 2020.

Basic income is an idea which is being seriously considered by the Scottish Government and four Local Authorities – Fife, North Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Glasgow. A feasibility study is currently underway to determine whether it is possible to run a pilot and what that pilot might look like.

Our role as CBINS is to act as a communications channel between policymakers and the public. We keep people informed as to what basic income is and what work is underway in Scotland, as well as making sure that the voices of ordinary people are heard by those in power so that they have the clearest idea of the impact that a basic income would have if it were implemented.

As experts in the issues affecting your wards and the problems brought to you every day by concerned citizens, your insight and input into discussions is invaluable. We need to hear how you think basic income will impact your local community, positively or negatively.

There are five upcoming workshops where you will be able to hear from experts in specific topics, and discuss how you think basic income would impact your community. By attending and participating you will be giving a voice to your constituents and make sure their needs are considered when potential basic income pilots are designed.

It doesn’t matter if you are not within one of the four Local Authorities overseeing the pilot work to date, you can draw a straight line from the feasibility studies, through a pilot scheme, to a nationally implemented basic income, so make sure that your constituents are considered when decisions are made about the priorities for a basic income pilot, and what the goals of such a dramatic reform of social security should be.

This programme is about bringing together academics, practitioners and policymakers. Crucially, sceptics of the concept and the potential impacts on particular groups will be involved, as well as those who fully support the implementation of a Basic Income model in Scotland. We aim to anticipate and address the challenges of implementing Basic Income, with a focus on the Scottish context. Register to attend the workshops via the links below:

Basic Income, Human Rights and Equality: Tuesday 25 September

Basic Income, Employment and Entrepreneurship: Tuesday 2 October

Basic Income and Housing: Thursday 11 October

Basic Income and Caring: Wednesday 24 October

Implementation, Evaluation and Modelling of Basic Income: Thursday 15 November

Each workshop will be informed by a pre-circulated scoping paper. You can read an introductory scoping paper “Universal Basic Income in the UK”, written by Professor Paul Spicker, here.

You may also be interested in a recent series we ran looking at the feasibility studies [1] [2] [3] [4] or this one explaining what a pilot scheme is [5]