Various organisation in the UK are looking at the specifics of how a basic/citizen's income could be implemented. Most of these use the current tax system ( income tax and national insurance) to fund their basic income so that they could be implemented quickly.
Other taxes could be looked at to supplement the revenue required to provide the basic income for example carbon tax and dividend, transaction tax,.
Citizens Income Trust
The Citizen’s Income Trust is a charitable trust that promotes debate on the desirability and feasibility of a Citizen’s Income.
"A Citizen’s Income, an unconditional and non-withdrawable income for every individual would offer many advantages, but because the UK’s current benefits and tax systems are complex, transition to a benefits system based on a Citizen’s Income could be difficult to achieve. This paper builds on the results contained in a previous EUROMOD working paper by proposing two financially feasible ways of implementing a Citizen’s Income"
The paper highlights two possible schemes that were based on the following criteria:
- Strict revenue neutrality (as above)
- Income Tax rates not to rise more than 3% (see below) (adjustments to National Insurance Contributions earnings limits, and of National Insurance Contributions up to 12% of earnings, are permitted)
- No more than 2% of low income households should suffer losses of over 5% of disposable income at the point of implementation.
- Any redistribution should be modest and should be from rich to poor
Additionally the paper shows a third option what Income Tax rates would be required to pay Citizen’s Incomes equal to the Minimum Income Standards published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Compass describe themselves as a "home for those who want to build and be a part of a Good Society; one where equality, sustainability and democracy are not mere aspirations, but a living reality. We are founded on the belief that no single issue, organisation or political party can make a Good Society a reality by themselves so we have to work together to make it happen. Compass is a place where people come together to create the visions, alliances and actions to be the change we wish to see in the world."
On 6th June 2016 in the House of Commons compass launched their piece of work on why we need a Universal Basic Income and how it could be introduced.
Green Party ( England & Wales )
Just before the last election the Green Party put forward their proposal for a Basic Income. In the main election manifesto it was referenced to by
"Basic Income would be a massive change to the entire UK tax and benefits system. We recognise that it would not be practicable or right to carry out that change within a single Parliament. We are publishing alongside but separate from this manifesto a detailed set of proposals for a comprehensive Basic Income scheme. It contains full details of the scheme itself, costings and proposals on how to pay for it, and an initial analysis of how the scheme would affect the net income of different groups"
Reform Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland, which independently of political parties or other organisations, works to promote promote increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.
"Our conclusion is that the benefits system should protect the unemployed and under-employed but at the same time must reduce – and ideally remove – any disincentives to take work, particularly part-time work. The manifest failing of the present system is the cash penalty many face when they take a job, the so-called ‘welfare trap’. The system must be fair to all at the same time providing value for the public money that funds it"
"Reform Scotland believes that a radical reform is required and that a Basic Income Guarantee is the best way forward. Everyone in or out of work receives a guaranteed basic income. Anything earned goes on top and is taxed at the relevant rate. Sometimes called a Citizen’s Income, the Basic Income Guarantee is a BIG idea whose time has come."
RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)
The RSA has been looking at the idea as a possible replacement for the current tax and benefits system. In their report, Anthony Painter and Chris Thoung outline what a Basic Income could look like in practice. They conclude that there is a strong practical case for the Basic Income - it underpins security, replaces the complexity of the current system, and provides a platform for freedom and creativity.
The report outlines the RSA’s model of Basic Income. This model manages some of the negative distributive consequences of traditional Basic Income schemes. It redistributes towards those with families - especially young families. What this means in practice is that there could be an easier transition to a Basic Income system.
Beyond support for Basic Income as an idea and a model, the report recommends that, like the Netherlands, a Basic Income pilot is established in the UK at city-wide scale. It is then that the proposed benefits could be rigorously tested.
Scottish Greens have worked with the Citizen’s Income Trust and the University of Stirling to calculate the costs of an example Citizen’s Income scheme using a model based on data from the UK Department of Work and Pensions Family Resources Survey 2010/11. The numerical analysis was conducted by Dr David Comerford, Research Fellow in Economics, University of Stirling.
If you know of other groups who have produced documents relating to basic income please let us know.