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20th Sep 2019

Why we need a basic income for everyone right now

Wayne Farry

Universal basic income is a hot topic right now

The concept of universal basic income is a simple one: that people deserve the right to live and that everyone, regardless of economic standing or employment status, should receive a periodic payment delivered to them to ensure they have enough to live a comfortable life, free of worry or poverty.

There are a number of different types of basic income, ranging from unconditional (varying only with age, but not with gender, employment status or wealth), individual (paid to an individual and not on the basis of a couple or household) to a right (paid to all those who are citizens of a country).

The theory has a number of critics, who consider the payment as little more than a ‘handout’, but it also has a number of proponents, who see it as a means of lifting people out of poverty.

One such proponent is Guy Standing, a British professor of Development Studies at the University of London.

Standing is also one of the co-founder Basic Income Earth Network, and the author of a new book called Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth.

After the recent release of his book, Standing spoke to JOE about basic income, and why it should be implemented for everyone immediately.

Guy Standing’s book, Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth, is out now.