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  • Nothing undermines life more than insecurity

  • but for too many, the last few decades have become ever more insecure.

  • Work is less certain and more stressful,

  • especially for those on average incomes and lower

  • and we have a tax and benefits system that is complex and sometimes punitive.

  • We could do something completely different,

  • like give a basic monthly payment to every single citizen.

  • This is called a Basic Income.

  • It's a centuries-old idea favoured by philosophers,

  • social reformers, civic leaders and across the political spectrum.

  • And it could help us meet our needs today.

  • Basic Income would provide a platform to smooth the life transitions

  • millions of us will face in coming years,

  • including changes that may come from technology.

  • It's the best insurance policy there is.

  • It would be a solid foundation to enable people to structure their lives

  • in a way that unleashes their talent.

  • Whether we want to earn or learn, care or set up a business,

  • Basic Income could offer us greater security

  • and a better, more creative life.

  • Some people say Basic Income will make people lazy.

  • We don't accept the premise that people are naturally lazy

  • but, anyway, Basic Income is a system that incentivises work.

  • It gets rid of effective tax rates of 70% or more for the bottom half of earners.

  • Some say it's unaffordable.

  • Experts show it could be funded without massively increasing the size of the state.

  • In the RSA's model, an additional 1% of GDP would be needed.

  • Not insignificant, but no more than the cost of recent changes to taxes and benefits.

  • And these changes would support everyone,

  • not just the big corporations and the privileged few,

  • who have tended to gain from recent big moves in the tax system.

  • The Basic Income movement is expanding globally.

  • Pilots are planned in the Netherlands, Finland and Canada.

  • We believe it is time for more trials

  • in a UK city, in the US and many other places across the globe, too.

  • Basic Income could be a means of rethinking what matters to us all

  • a platform to help us strengthen relationships to one another,

  • improve our working lives

  • and support an even better, more creative society.

Nothing undermines life more than insecurity

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