Basic Income Security

Authors: Simon Duffy and John Dalrymple

The paper sets out a proposal for the reform of the income security system in an independent Scotland. It proposes the development of a system where all Scottish citizens would receive a minimum income - Basic Income Security. This is a working paper, we welcome comments, we will produce a final version in partnership with the Scottish Campaign for a Fair Society.

In summary the paper argues for:

  1. Integration of tax and benefits
  2. Pro-family approach to tax and benefits, supporting families in all their forms
  3. Simplified tax and benefit calculations (into one set of questions)
  4. Security by means of universal, non-means-tested, entitlement
  5. Fair rates of taxation, removing extreme taxes on the poorest
  6. Human rights, embedded in a new constitution for Scotland
  7. Public committee to shape core entitlements, open to submission and scrutiny

Make your comments or suggest improvements in the comments section below.

The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Basic Income Security © Simon Duffy and John Dalrymple 2013.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

2 CommentsAdd yours

  1. Malcolm Henry

    June 11th 2014 - 20:56pm

    This is a very welcome contribution to the debate. Very accessible with clear arguments and enlightening details on the challenges of introducing a basic income system to an independent Scotland. I'll make sure that people who are discussing independence are directed to this page.

    Simon won't be surprised to hear, however, that I'm uncomfortable with the funding model that you propose.

    By funding BI with taxes on productive activity (income tax, NICs, VAT, corporation tax) we paint ourselves into a corner.

    First, we restrict the amount of money available for BI to whatever can be extracted from the productive economy by the revenue.

    Second, we rely on a slow, cumbersome and inefficient mechanism to collect the BI money, assess how much is owed to each citizen, and then distribute it.

    If instead we think of BI money as flowing in a monthly cycle (distribute, spend, collect, distribute, etc.) then we can see that the total amount of money required is finite and relatively small, which means the amount paid to each individual can be relatively big.

    Consider a BI of £1,000/person/month for the whole population of Scotland. The BI fund need only be £5.3bn. If we assume that Scotland's money supply (M4) is 10% of the UK's then £5.3bn represents less than 3% of the money in the economy.

    The next thing we need is a collection method that operates on a monthly basis. I favour a negative interest rate (as described here: which has benefits for the wider economy. The Swiss appear to be considering using VAT, which I think is counter-productive. I'm sure other ideas would emerge if we asked the question.

    By using a finite fund of money for BI it can be considered as money that we own in equal share. It is the property of the citizens, not the gift of government or the grudging taxpayer. This means it can be independent of government, administered by a citizen's bank whose trustees are required by law to maintain the BI at a certain level and protect it from the whims of government.

    I hope you will consider these ideas. If you want to discuss them with me please get in touch.

  2. kyunkyun

    June 21st 2014 - 06:50am

    (I am a Japanese.)
    (I write this sentence by machine translation.)

    The reason why unconditional income, basic income, is necessary: From a different viewpoint

    I think that we must not forget A+B theorem of social credit of Scottish C. H. Douglas as one of the reason.

    When based on A+B theorem of Douglas, “ product price becomes higher than our earned income ”
    Douglas proposed national dividend ( one form of the basic income ) to improve it.

    This is not a theory of welfare and tax.
    This is a theory of the economy.
    From the viewpoint of theory of the economy based on A+B theorem, “ We should give unconditional income to everyone ”

    I think that we must study more about A+B theorem of the social credit.

    * Reference

    Explanation document of the A+B Theorem

    Google Groups - Social Credit

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