Changing circumstances and new basic premises: turning the affordability and feasibility relationship on its head: a reply to ‘The big tax hikes that make UBI “affordable” could be used to cut poverty in more targeted ways’ by Donald Hirsch

Howard Reed, Matthew Johnson, Stewart Lansley, Elliott Johnson, Graham Stark, Kate E. Pickett

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Donald Hirsch (2023) raises important questions about the possibility of introducing some version of a basic income scheme. Hirsch is strongly associated with his work on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) and his response indicates a belief in a means-tested approach to reaching it via a more generous form of Universal Credit. Under a solely means-tested system designed to reach a 2021/22 MIS of £11,960 (without additional costs such as housing), an individual could have worked 1,342 hours at the then National Living Wage of £8.91 to reach the individual 2021/22 MIS while receiving no financial support on the way to it, while their neighbour could do nothing and receive the whole sum in state support. Such systems not only create perverse disincentives to work, they also cost more overall to administer. Given that means-based systems have failed to provide a practicable guaranteed income floor, there is a genuine need for a new vision of social security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Poverty and Social Justice
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2023

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