Reports 2017

Universal Basic Income - Pros and cons

29 September 2017

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), where the government provides each citizen, regardless of their employment status, with a regular fixed payment, has been highly debated in the media and public sphere recently. Advocates argue that UBI leads to greater economic security among vulnerable citizens and thereby increases income equality. Critics, however, counter that Universal Basic Income might potentially decrease the total amount individuals receive, as existing anti-poverty programmes are replaced, in addition to reducing the incentive to work. A variety of universal basic income schemes are currently being tested in Europe and more widely. In this Head-to-Head debate, our two speakers debated the pros and cons of the Universal Basic Income. Professor Guy Standing is founder member and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network and author of ‘Basic income: and how we can make it happen’. Daniel Zamora is co-author of ‘Contre l’allocation universelle’ and opposed to Universal Basic Income. The debate was moderated by Claire Dhéret, EPC Senior Policy Analyst.