Far more compelling than UBI is ‘UBS’, or the idea of ‘universal basic services’
Background context for 21st century welfare reform and unique aspects of basic services.
The most powerful aspects of the argument are probably not the cost calculations for particular services (which are in any case quite speculative) but the implied political potential of supporting and expanding the social wage.
UBS provides an intellectual and political route into debates about securing inclusive citizenship in unequal, open economies like the UK’s
A state service provision could help our society cope with a changing job market. And best of all: it could be fiscally neutral
The left has spent years focusing primarily on opposition: resistance to spending cuts, punitive welfare changes and the erosion of employment rights. Now, with Labour tantalisingly close to power, we have, at last, a chance to imagine something better.
People in more equal societies are more willing to help each other, trust each other, and to take part in community life.
At a time of austerity, it is sometimes difficult to remember that the UK is one of the richest countries on the planet. Rising homelessness and the use of foodbanks are just a couple of indicators that a portion of our society is being left behind.
Professor Jonathan Portes and Howard Reed write two papers discussing the challenges facing our society and look at the costs and effects of delivering Transport and Information UBS.