Universal basic services – is this the answer to poverty?


by Caroline Hartnell

The basic question: is it better to give everyone a set amount of money each year or to guarantee all of the public services people need to live a full life? While UBI can be seen as a simple solution to a complex problem, UBS is a complex solution to a complex problem.

Who will provide the services?

Are we talking about local community initiatives or business/private funding of initiatives or state provision? Or all of the above? Bottom-up community initiatives represent a great way to develop new approaches, but how do we ensure provision is universal? The state will clearly have to be involved in some way if this is to happen. UBS implementation needs to be both bottom-up and top-down, with a transformed state giving resourceful communities the support they need.


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