Universal income – an idea whose time has come

Why not pay everyone £20k a year Universal Income?

I’ve written about this previously, as I think it is far better economics and social policy than complex bureaucratic welfare benefits such as Universal Credit. I particularly think it is a good policy for mental health reasons – if someone needs a break to paint pictures of butterflies in a shed for a few months, why not?

Essentially the Universal Income is your tax allowance, but guaranteed. Anything else you earn gets taxed, again a simpler system than now. It can also be set to sort out a Living Wage.

Ireland looked at it seriously around six years’ ago, and now Switzerland is considering it too.

I would tweak the £20k for the extra costs faced by disabled people, and the ‘old’ Disability Living Allowance is tried and tested, paid to people regardless of being in work or not working.

Countries could set different levels to adjust for cost of living or purchasing parity, so the reasons for moving to country X would not be financially driven.

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