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Luke Devlin

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The following personal notes and links on the talk and discussion were made by participant Satya Dunning and are shared in the hope that they may be useful, but are not verified by the Centre.

 

I am just back from tonight’s talk at the Centre for Human Ecology, which was about  ‘Citizen’s Basic Income: time for Scotland to take a lead’. Mike McCarron was the speaker.Mike has been and is still involved in the development and implementation of Scotland’s Drug Strategy. I am coming away from the talk with a little more hope having learn things which give me understanding and acceptance of myself and the bigger picture.

I’d like to share some of the things I learnt.

The idea of a Basic Citizen’s Income is in fact not just an idea, it is in fact taking place in Norway, in Iceland and Iran is even looking into setting something similar up. Switzerland is currently in the process of voting for it. A Basic Citizen’s Income is universal, offered to every individual as opposed to household and is unconditional. It is a movement happening in Scotland, and if I got this right there is a campaign underway to make people in Scotland more aware of it and to make it a reality especially if, when Scotland becomes independent.

Guy Standing a founder member and co president of Basic Income Earth Network spoke to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 about a Basic Citizen’s Income and shared ideas from his new book The Precariat: The new dangerous class. Essentially, Standing says that at the top we have the plutocracy (1%) with huge wealth, then the salariat with secure jobs, followed by the proficients who work in IT and amass a huge sum of money and suffer from burn out, then the proletariat, the shrinking working class followed by a new burgeoning group he calls the burgeoning precariat, made up of people in short term work contracts, in insecure part time work, zero hour contracts etc. I recognised myself in that category.

So the benefits of a Basic Citizen’s Income would be:
the ending of poverty and unemployment traps especially in view of all the changes regarding benefits.
Freeing people up to take more control of their lives.
Freeing up people’s creativity and imagination as well as causing human flourishing.
For more benefits please visit this link: http://www.citizensincome.org/filelibrary/Citizen’s%20Income%20booklet.pdf

Guy Standing was invited to India to set up a Basic Citizen’s Income or cash transfer pilot over 1 year in 20 villages. There was an increase in quality of life and also a more democratic participatory involvement of the communities. You can find out more here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtYtwiG-uAM&feature=youtu.be

Ailsa McKay is a Scottish economist also talking about this, who is particularly interested in gender issues and who sees that a Basic Citizen’s Income would reduce the gap in gender income.
The Green party supports the introduction of a Basic Citizen’s Income.

Things to read to read are:
The Future Public Health by Philip Hanlon and Sandra Carlisle
Economics for People and Planet by Peter Merrit http://www.petermerry.org/blog/2011/economics-and-work-for-people-and-planet/
Welfare to Work or a Welfare System that works. Arguing for a new Basic Citizen’s Income for a new Scotland by Ailsa McKay http://www.scotlandfutureforum.org/assets/library/files/application/Research_Paper_5-McKay.pdf
Citizen’s financial rights by Ailsa McKay http://www.scotsman.com/news/ailsa-mckay-citizens-financial-rights-1-2799922
Annie Miller’s article: http://www.social-policy.org.uk/lincoln/Miller.pdf

Further links cited in the talk:
The Art of hosting meaningful conversations: http://www.artofhosting.org/
Guy Standing http://www.guystanding.com/
Ailsa McKay http://www.gcu.ac.uk/gsbs/staff/professorailsamckay/
Citizen’s Income Trust http://www.citizensincome.org/
Basic Income’s Earth Network (BIEN) http://www.basicincome.org/bien/

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