Universalism: Reasserting the Vision of The Welfare State


UBS and UBI could complement each other, in addition to any additional benefit requirements (such as disability benefit, pensions and perhaps some form of jobseekers), to create a powerful new settlement between the state and its citizens. The costs of such a system are not necessarily impractical as the UCL report details. We would be “extending and amplifying” the post-war offer and fulfilling Attlee’s stated goal of truly “providing for all the things all should enjoy in a modern community”. In a moment dominated by Donald Trump, Brexit and the rise of populist causes exploiting the grievances of those let down by the failures of the previous consensus, Beveridge might have recognised this as a “revolutionary moment”. It’s not a time for patching.



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