Thursday, December 28, 2017

Testing Universal Basic Income In Scotland

From Futurism:

A New Trial in Scotland May Bring Universal Basic Income to Life 
Universal Basic Income Lands in Scotland
People living in the Scottish cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, and North Ayrshire may soon receive an unconditional monthly sum as part of a series of universal basic income pilots currently being explored with support from the local government.

Although still in its infancy and rife with controversy, the idea has already attracted £250,000 (nearly $334,500) of public funding in the form of a grant to develop feasibility studies. The cities involved have until late March 2018 to submit their bids.

In a world where jobs are being increasingly taken over by machines, leaders have started to recognize that the welfare safety net will need to change. Advocates of universal basic income believe that the unconditional offer of a regular, though tiny, sum of money could help many get back on their feet, and even encourage them to invest in new business ideas.

In Scotland, some have criticized the government’s involvement of the government [sic?], which doesn’t have the powers over tax and benefits necessary to pilot a full basic income. However people from both sides of the political aisle have engaged with the proposal, which would cost money upfront but could deliver important savings by replacing unemployment benefits.

Speaking at a conference of economists, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It might turn out not to be the answer, it might turn out not to be feasible. But as work changes as rapidly as it is doing, I think its really important that we are prepared to be open-minded about the different ways that we can support individuals to participate fully in the new economy.”...MORE
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