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A UK 'Basic Income'? Testing the Limits of Universality

PUTTICK, Keith (2020) A UK 'Basic Income'? Testing the Limits of Universality. Journal of Social Security Law, 27 (2). ISSN 1354-7747

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Abstract or description

Proponents of Basic Income (BI) argue that BI schemes can deliver universal, unconditional support more effectively than conventional social security programmes. This paper examines that claim. Consideration is given to the form BI schemes can take, and their attractions, before turning to the concerns. These include issues around popular support, fiscal feasibility, and the potentially negative distributional outcomes for those lower down the income distribution or who are reliant on targeted programmes in key areas like housing, childcare, disability, and in-work support – particularly if a BI scheme displaces (or partially displaces) such programmes. There have been important evaluations. Nevertheless, further work is needed before firm conclusions on the merits of BI schemes can be reached. In the meantime, as many States, including the UK, implement massive income replacement schemes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, calls to adopt simpler, more universal BI-type schemes can be expected to grow. In the UK, much of the focus will be on the performance of Universal Credit

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Social Security Law following peer review. The definitive published version [insert complete citation information here] is available online on Westlaw UK or from Thomson Reuters DocDel service .
Uncontrolled Keywords: Universal Basic Income - UBI attractions and concerns - Fiscal feasability - Displacement of social security schemes - Distributional outcomes - International BI experiences - BI evaluations and testing - Covid 19 pandemic - Wage and income replacement - Universal Credit as UK safety-net
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Law
Depositing User: Keith PUTTICK
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2020 13:03
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2023 16:24

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