Citizen’s basic income (BI) seeks to reduce poverty and increase people’s control over their lives – improving their quality of life and wellbeing and strengthening socio-economic inclusion and justice. This contributes to realising the vision of Scotland 2030 as a better place for all citizens. International BI pilots have shown considerable social, economic, administrative benefits. Analyses of these and persistent poverty, income and job insecurity are leading to growing global interest in BI, with many pilot schemes across the world and with plans for four local authority pilots in Scotland.
The Exploring Basic Income in Scotland project set out to generate cross-disciplinary discussions about Basic Income and areas that would be transformed by the policy - employment & entrepreneurship, housing, care, human rights & equality. The idea was to create an environment where a deeper level of exploration into the potential impact of a Basic Income was possible. Policymakers, Basic Income advocates and sceptics provided a technical understanding of Basic Income itself to act as a foundation for the discussion. Practitioners, academics and policymakers working in fields relevant to the themes brought insight into the specifics of those issues and in the Scottish context.
The project produced background papers which explore the current understanding of Basic Income and its potential impact on the highlighted areas, using relevant philosophical understanding and evidence. The team also hosted a series of workshops informed by the background papers and a range of speakers from diverse backgrounds. Facilitated discussion allowed to draw out the key potential benefits, concerns and questions related to Basic Income and the intersecting issues.