The Swiss said 'No' but could the UK have a… | tutor2u Economics
In the News

The Swiss said 'No' but could the UK have a Universal Basic Income in the future?

Just days after Switzerland had a referendum on the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (and rejected the idea), Labour's John McDonnell is starting to consider such a scheme, backed by politicians from the Green Party.

The concept in its simplest form would give every adult a guaranteed basic income no matter what their employment situation is. It would then mean that the Government could remove its welfare benefit system and complex tax relief methods. It would (hopefully) allow for an improved equality within society (as all citizens receive a living wage) and some would argue that creativity in the workplace would be improved as people may have greater income stability and be more inclined to take risks.

It is receiving greater consideration as policy makers attempt to plan for a world that becomes increasingly more technologically driven and where low-skilled tasks become more likely to be undertaken by machines and robots.

An article on McDonnell's thoughts is available on here, and further analysis on the concept is available here.

For those A2 students about to take their macro papers, it is an interesting policy choice to add to the mix. It is very unlikely that the concept will appear as an exam question but it may be a policy consideration if you are answering a question on equality, productivity or the relative impact of the current welfare system in the UK.

The counter arguments are fairly obvious: how would an economy afford such a measure (perhaps an increase in corporation tax for businesses using high amounts of technology - pick that one apart!)? Could the system reduce motivation for people to find work or work more productively if they have a guaranteed (albeit basic) income?

Subscribe to email updates from the tutor2u Economics

Join 1000s of fellow Economics teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Economics team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

You can also follow @tutor2uEconomics on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or join our popular Facebook Groups.

Teaching Vacancies

Recruitment

Advertise your vacancies with tutor2u

Much cheaper & more effective than TES or the Guardian. Reach the audience you really want to apply for your teaching vacancy by posting directly to our website and related social media audiences.

Find our more ›

Advertise your teaching jobs with tutor2u

A New Home for tutor2u Resources

We've just flicked the switch on moving all our digital resources to instant digital download - via our new subject stores.

For every subject you can now access each digital resource as soon as it is ordered. This will always be the latest edition of each resource too (and we'll update you automatically if there is an upgraded version to use).

Simply add the required resources to your cart, checkout using the usual options and your resources will be available to access immediately via your mytutor2u account.