PARTNERS involved in exploring the feasibility of a Citizens’ Basic Income (CBI) pilot in Scotland have completed the draft final report on their findings. The report concludes a CBI pilot is desirable, but recognises the significant challenges involved.
In September 2017, the Scottish Government announced in its Programme for Government that it would support local authority areas to explore a Citizens’ Basic Income (CBI) Scheme by establishing a fund to help areas to develop their proposals further and establish suitable testing. The fund of £250,000 was received by four local authorities – Fife Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council and North Ayrshire Council – who have been working together to research and explore the feasibility of local pilots of CBI in Scotland.
The feasibility project builds on earlier work undertaken by local authorities who were exploring the possible contribution of a CBI in reducing poverty and tackling inequalities. The work has been undertaken in collaboration across the four local authorities, Public Health Scotland, supported by Scottish Government and the Improvement Service. Representatives from each of the collaborating organisations were brought together to form the Citizens’ Basic Income Feasibility Study Steering Group.
The group has been asked to consider the role of a CBI in reducing poverty by exploring the feasibility of conducting local pilots in Scotland. Specifically, this included details of the ethical, legislative, financial and practical implementation of conducting a pilot as well as its potential costs, benefits and savings. They did this by gathering and synthesising CBI evidence across published research, engaging with relevant organisations, learning from contemporary pilots, community engagement and survey data, as well as commissioning new research to address evidence gaps. The Interim Feasibility Report was published in November 2019 and can be accessed here.
The Final Feasibility Report is currently being prepared by the Steering Group to communicate the findings of the project. It was planned that this report would enter a process of Local Authority engagement and approval over April and May, with a formal launch event and publication in June 2020. The importance of the feasibility work remains high, particularly in light of recent public and political engagement on CBI. It is the intention of the Steering Group to publish the work as close to the original timescales as possible, however due to issues arising from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the final stages of report completion and Local Authority approval have been unavoidably delayed. Discussions are taking place across partners to complete the work and agree a process for Local Authority approval. While these discussions are underway it is therefore not possible to specify a date when the report will be available to the public. The Steering Group is aware there is much interest in the report and a further update will be provided as soon as possible.
Today is the start of #ChallengePovertyWeek which aims to draw attention to the injustice of poverty and showcase potential solutions.
It is estimated that 20% of people in Scotland are living in poverty (Scottish Government, 2019). Poverty has substantial and lasting impacts on people’s health, wellbeing, access to opportunities and ability to participate in society. Worryingly, 240,000 children in Scotland live in poverty, of which 65% are from working households (Scottish Government, 2019). We need to explore bold and innovative policies if we are to tackle poverty. Could a citizen’s basic income (CBI) be one of them?
In September 2017, the Scottish Government announced in its Programme for Government that it would support local authority areas to explore a Citizen’s Basic Income (CBI) Scheme by establishing a fund to help areas to develop their proposals further and establish suitable testing. The fund of £250,000 was received by four local authorities – Fife Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council and North Ayrshire Council – who have been working together to research and explore the feasibility of local pilots of CBI in Scotland. This funding complemented resources already committed by local authorities.
There is a sense in many developed countries around the world that our social security systems – complex, under pressure, and subject to widespread public suspicion – are no longer fit for purpose. The Scottish Citizen’s Basic Income Steering Group were commissioned by Carnegie UK Trust to produce an international learning report drawing on insights from around the globe to explore the practicalities that we will need to consider in Scotland in designing a basic income pilot. Learn more about the Scottish Citizen’s Basic Income Feasibility Study here.
Today marks the start of Challenge Poverty Week 2018 (1st – 8th October). Co-ordinated by the Poverty Alliance, #ChallengePoverty week is a chance to talk about how we can solve poverty by building on the values of compassion and justice.