Citizen’s Basic Income Network Scotland is a new organisation set up to raise awareness of the benefits that a Basic Income would bring to Scotland.

A Basic Income (or Citizen’s Income) would represent a major step forward for equality, fairness, and a human right to be free from poverty. It would replace a lot of the current benefits and personal tax allowances system with an unconditional, non-withdrawable payment to each Scottish ‘citizen’ (however that is defined, but including children and adults of all ages). In other words, you and everyone you know who lives in Scotland would receive the same minimum payment from the government each month regardless of your circumstances. This would replace much of the current benefits system, which is expensive to administer, overcomplicated, and unfair.

There are already elements of a basic income system in place in the form of personal tax allowances, child benefit, and pensions. We can build on this platform to extend the financial security they try to provide to every citizen.

Click here to find out what exactly is a Basic Income, or read and download our Briefing Paper.

There are many reasons you might find a basic income desirable, we have listed a few below for you to explore. Talk to us about basic income on Twitter, and if you’d like to hear from us regularly or become a volunteer advocate please sign up for our mailing list.

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So, why do you want a basic income?


To End the Poverty Trap and Expand the Workforce

A point upon which we can all agree is that the best way to encourage somebody into work is to pay them with a living wage. We currently have an income tax allowance which is stated to ‘make work pay’ by leaving the first £11,000 tax free. So far so good. Until you earn £11,000…

Continue reading To End the Poverty Trap and Expand the Workforce

To Advance Women’s Equality and Increase Financial Autonomy

Childcare and social care professionals are paid to provide crucial support to people caring for children, disabled, ill and older people. Care is both essential to society and extremely demanding work. However, at present, caring is chronically undervalued by our society and economic systems. Unpaid care work is estimated at a value of £10.8 billion…

Continue reading To Advance Women’s Equality and Increase Financial Autonomy

To Compensate for Automation

One of the most popular arguments for a Basic Income comes from the changing nature of work in modern society. Technological advancement has always been a part of life, with each incremental step changing the way that people work and resulting in increased productivity and for some, an increase in prosperity. Each technological shift, such…

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To Make Education Accessible

As mentioned in our discussions of automation and the need for greater entrepreneurship, the nature of work is moving away from lifelong careers towards ‘portfolio’ careers and short-term contracts. Much unskilled work is being automated by machines and semi-skilled work by software applications. The modern workforce needs to be flexible, able to re-skill to meet…

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To Prevent Poverty in Scotland

In a developed country like Scotland people should not be in a position where they are making a choice between heating or eating. The current benefits system fails to prevent poverty in this country and therefore demands reform. A Basic Income set higher than current benefit rates would reduce income poverty whilst a fairer tax system…

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To Allow Families to Live Together

A good example of a negative consequence coming from a well-intentioned policy is the way that the current benefits system addresses the issues of household economies of scale. An economy of scale occurs where it is cheaper to buy a lot of something and share it between people, than it is for each person to…

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To Strengthen Industrial Democracy

Providing a basic income for all could dramatically shift the balance of power away from employers and towards a more equitable relationship with employees. Current practices such as adopting zero-hour contracts show that large sections of society are powerless to resist unfair working environments, which aside from low pay can also include sexual discrimination, harassment,…

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To Reduce the Cost of Administration

A report by The Green Party of England and Wales concluded that by moving to a basic income the UK would see annual administrative savings of 50%, representing a saving of £8bn (1). The reason why such a saving is possible is because the current system of multiple parallel benefits to which a person may become entitled…

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To Reduce Crime

It is well established that there is a strong link in Scotland between deprivation and crime, with crime rates in the poorest areas at 21%, whereas they are only 15% in richer areas (1). Whilst the causes of crime are complex, there are many areas highlighted in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (2) that…

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To Reduce Social Inequality

Research by The Equality Trust (1) shows that the UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world, with homes in the south east possessing 83% more wealth than those in Scotland. They also identify key drivers (2) for increasing inequality in the UK including globalisation, which only serves to keep wages down…

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To Improve Quality of Life

Citizens receiving basic income are able to continue their education for longer and to return to it at any time, equipping them for life when unskilled labour becomes automated. They are freed from the anxiety that comes with poverty, their health improves, they would be able to rejoin the workforce and perhaps even start their own business.…

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To Improve Health

A recent parliamentary briefing (1) has estimated that the cost to Scotland’s economy from mental health problems is £1.9bn in treatment alone, and rises to £3bn when the economic impact of the inability to work is taken into account. This report also highlights the inequalities in mental health across Scotland, with those in the most…

Continue reading To Improve Health