28 June 2020
Tuesday 21st July 20:00, online via Zoom
Long dismissed as utopian and unworkable the Covid-19 crisis has breathed new life into the ancient idea of a basic income for all. Such a scheme would, for the first time, bring a guaranteed income floor below which no-one would fall. Supporters claim it would cut poverty, boost security, and promote freedom. But the idea remains controversial. A key reason for this surge in interest has been the exposure of the multiple flaws in the current system of benefits. Millions fall through what is an imperfect, mean and punitive system. There is also the potential of such a scheme to mitigate, at speed, the stark economic fall-out of the epidemic. So, is a basic income feasible and affordable? Would it be empowering? Would it help heal today’s broken system of income support and insecure economy?
Stewart Lansley is the co-author of the 2019 Compass report: Basic income for all: from desirability to feasibility and co-editor (with Amy Downes) of It’s Basic Income: The Global Debate, Policy Press, 2018. His other recent books include Breadline Britain, The Rise of Mass Poverty, 2015 and The Cost of Inequality, 2011.
Photo credit: freeimages.co.uk