This week is Challenge Poverty Week, so on the blog we’re focusing on how Basic Income can do just that. Challenge Poverty Week is all about how in our society, everyone should be able to live a dignified life, fulfilling our potential and upholding our responsibility to each other – values that are also integral to a Citizens’ Basic Income. Today we’re profiling Your Voice, a user led community organisation in Inverclyde, and the anti-poverty group its members set up: Challenging Inverclyde Poverty.
Timothea Armour, CBINS Blog editor
Your Voice, set up over 25 years ago, is a network formed of people living across Inverclyde, spanning diverse backgrounds and age groups. One of the things Your Voice works on is the coordination and facilitation of the HSCP Advisory Group & Subgroups – groups that work alongside local health and social care providers to ensure that the views of local people are heard when services are being planned and developed. CIP is one of those groups, formed in November 2018 in response to poverty being identified as an issue that had an impact across all the areas the other groups were working in. Recently they have been carrying out research on Basic Income, in addition to their other campaign efforts.
The group agrees that poverty is unacceptable in Inverclyde, that people experiencing poverty need to be involved in the design of solutions and that those solutions should address the underlying causes of poverty. Since a CIP member who is passionate about Basic Income shared a paper he had written with the group, they have gone on to investigate the topic together, drawing on current policy, pilot schemes and planned pilots in Canada, the Netherlands and Scotland. The group decided in May 2019 that CIP would campaign to raise awareness of Basic Income, as a genuine policy option in the effort to eliminate poverty, and something that fits in with those guiding principles that CIP was founded on.
So far this campaign subgroup has run surveys on social media and had two members attend meetings of the Scottish Government’s Cross Party Working Group on Universal Basic Income, which CBINS also takes part in. CIP’s membership believe that Inverclyde’s size and demographics make it an ideal location for a Basic Income pilot and are planning to lobby councillors to look into the possibility of running one in the area.
You can find out more about Challenging Inverclyde Poverty here and more about Challenge Poverty Week here. If you’d like to join the discussion about poverty and Basic Income, come along to our Glasgow meet-up, which will be themed around poverty this time, and takes place on Wednesday October 9 – you can book a place here.