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Over one hundred people joined the webinar for the soft launch of the Scottish Citizens Basic Income Pilot Feasibility Project final report.

The event was ably chaired by Sarah Davidson, Chief Executive of the Carnegie Trust UK who in her introduction said the webinar was “a really valuable opportunity for us to hear directly from those who have been most closely involved from the four local authorities and some other supportive partners about the work that has gone on in order to study the feasibility of a basic income pilot in Scotland.”  The audience heard presentations from Feasibility Project Managers on the Steering Group, Wendy Hearty and Mhairi Paterson, who gave a brief overview of the background to the project, the pilot model that we would be recommending in the final report and some of the broader recommendations around the pilot that we would suggest and a very, very brief overview of the feasibility”.   An overview of the two commissioned pieces of research were then given by Judith Paterson of CPAG Scotland who looked “to understand the essential aspect of feasibility of piloting a CBI, which is the complex interactions with tax and benefit systems in Scotland and across the UK.”   The following presentation from Graeme Roy and Ashwin Kumar of the Fraser of Allander Institute on modelling the economic impact of a CBI.

Sarah framed questions for the panel from the 30 questions received through the registration process, these centred around:

  • what had been learned about the ways that people, citizens might be engaged in the discussion
  • the relatively unusual partnership across 4 local authorities and also involving other organisations and what we might be learnt from that for wider policy making and ways of working together
  • to what extent the Covid pandemic had any effect on the ultimate findings or on the way in which people were engaging with the study
  • how you model behavioural responses to something that doesn’t currently exist
  • which international example of a Citizens Basic Income felt particularly interesting and useful, and what could be drawn from it
  • the extent to which basic income is a significant tool in reducing poverty or if there’s a risk that it obscures other measures

Sarah thanked all the members of the Steering Group and partners who had contributed both in the presentation and to the discussion and everybody who joined the webinar.

You can view the recording of the webinar here, and the slide pack is available here.