Could a universal basic income make for a fairer Scotland?

Recently, a few of our Community Correspondents attended a screening of the Free Lunch Society: a film about the Universal Basic Income.

The idea behind the film is that giving everyone a basic income, whether they are in employment or not, could lead to a fairer and more creative country. There was a mixed response from the volunteers. Here are two very different takes on the film from Community Correspondents Jim and Robert.

Jim says:

“The film showed everyone being given the same money, whether they’re a millionaire or unemployed. It was all very well, but if you ask me, that’s not about redistributing income.

It says everyone gets the same amount. That’s fine if you’re able and well, but if you’re disabled, you might need more to live one. Everyone knows life is more expensive the poorer you are. That money should be directed to the people who really need it, not given to millionaires.”


Robert says:

“I’m a convert. The examples that they showed us, where they’d tried it, it worked. The cynics thought that people would quit their jobs, but that’s not what happened. People used the money to do more creative things. It gave people economic and social freedom.

Giving everyone the money means there’s less bureaucracy, which is one of the most expensive parts of the benefits system. The only thing is, if it’s going to work, it needs to be set at a high enough level that people can actually get by on it. There’s no point in half doing it.”

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