75 years after the publication of the Beveridge report, LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 (Mon 19 Feb – Sat 24 Feb 2018) offers a week of public engagement activities exploring the ‘Five Giants’ identified by Beveridge in a global 21st-century context. Tickets to all the events, which are free and open to all, can be booked here.

On Tuesday 20 February 2018, LSE hosted a ‘Citizen’s Basic Income Day’, including the LSE Festival evening event, Beveridge Rebooted: A Basic Income for Every Citizen?’: listen to the podcast here. Ahead of the discussion, panellist Dr Malcolm Torry discusses his forthcoming new book on the topic, Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income, and how it builds on his previous works, including Money for Everyone: Why We Need a Citizen’s Income. 

LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 Preview: ‘Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income: A New Edition or a New Book?’ by Malcolm Torry

Why We Need a Citizen’s Basic Income will be published on 1 May 2018. It can be pre-ordered now from Policy Press.

A Citizen’s Basic Income (sometimes called a Basic Income, a Citizen’s Income or a Universal Basic Income) is an unconditional and nonwithdrawable income for every individual. Everyone of the same age would receive the same amount, every week or every month, no matter what their income, wealth, employment status, household structure, etc. Children would receive less, younger adults might receive less than working-age adults and older people might receive more; the amounts paid would be uprated each year, but otherwise the amount would never change. The payment would begin at birth, and it would cease at death.

Ever since the late eighteenth century, and possibly before that, this idea has emerged into public consciousness and then disappeared into obscurity. A brief flurry of activity 35 years ago prompted a small group of us to form the Basic Income Research Group – now the Citizen’s Basic Income Trust – and then the Basic Income European Network (BIEN: now the Basic Income Earth Network) to promote research and debate, so that the idea wouldn’t disappear entirely, and so that the next time there was an upswing in interest, there would be expertise and literature available to facilitate an intelligent discussion.

By 2011 no book-length general introduction to Citizen’s Basic Income had been published for twenty years, so I wrote Money for Everyone: Why We Need a Citizen’s Income (Policy Press, 2013). We decided to put detailed research results in an online appendix because we believed that the figures would go out of date much faster than the book. We were wrong. The figures for a feasible Citizen’s Basic Income scheme haven’t changed very much, but the debate has.

In response to demand for a shorter introduction to the topic, I subsequently published 101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income (Policy Press, 2015); and then, in 2016, Policy Press suggested that a new edition of Money for Everyone might be required. I agreed, so set about updating the book. I quickly realised that the whole of Money for Everyone would have to be rewritten.

Image Credit: (Generation Grundeinkommen CC BY 2.0)
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