Today’s welfare system is not one we would design today

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.

A universal basic income is an idea which has been considered in various forms for over two hundred years. Luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Dr Martin Luther King have supported the concept as a way of helping alleviate poverty and providing society with a safety net.

Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens an unconditional monthly sum. Other countries such as Canada, USA and the Netherlands are piloting schemes. I think it is vital that we assess its suitability for Scotland.

  • Ronnie Cowan MP, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde


We are staging an event with Fife Council on their proposed basic income trial. The event is free, and takes place in Kelty on January 28th. You can register here.

You can read Ronnie’s blog on his recent question on basic income to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions here.

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