June UBI updates and events

Posted on June 16, 2023

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1) Monday, 19 June 2023, Philipp Frey will give a lecture on “CO2 taxation for a green basic income?” When: 4:00 – 5:30 pm BST
Where: Online via Zoom (Link will be sent via mail)

CO2 taxation can be seen as a key means of combating climate change. At the same time, it is well known that consumption-based taxes hit households at risk of poverty particularly hard. Against this background, the demand to redistribute the revenues from CO2 taxes as a kind of climate money enjoys great popularity. It can also be an entry project into an unconditional basic income. The lecture will illustrate the distributional effects of such a CO2 taxation to show that it represents a policy to set massive incentives in the sense of ecological sustainability and at the same time to fight poverty radically on a national, European and global level.

To register, please send an email to: eventmanagement@fribis.uni-freiburg.de. Deadline for registration is Friday, 16 June 2023.
You can find more detailed information about the event at https://www.fribis.uni-freiburg.de/event/evening-lecture-by-philipp-frey-co2-taxation-for-a-green-basic-income/

2) The Earth4All project of the Club of Rome has published a document ‘The long road to a social dividend’ in 2022. It proposes sharing the earth’s fruits and redistributing the proceeds to all called a social dividend. You can download the document at: https://www.clubofrome.org/publication/earth4all-webster-social-dividend/

3) The 22nd Basic Income Congress Network Congress will take place in Seoul, Korea, from 23 to 26 August 2023 as a four-day online-offline hybrid. The BIEN Congress is now open for registration at https://biencongress2023.org/ . The programme has not been published yet.

4) An announcement on 4 June of the first ever Basic Income trial in England organised and financed by the think tank Autonomy has led to a lot of media coverage. A total of thirty people in Jarrow, south Tyneside, and East Finchley, north London, will receive a Basic Income of £1,600 for 2 years. You can read and download the report for a basic income micro-pilot here.

The Guardian has reported about the trial ‘Universal basic income of £1,600 a month to be trialled in two places in England – Scheme to run for two years and participants will be monitored to see what effect it has on mental and physical health’.

The Independent has presented the trial as ‘Money for nothing: Universal basic income to be trialled in England for first time’. It is strange that the free use of our commons is hardly ever presented as a free rider problem. Should people be compensated for this free use with a Universal Basic Income?

You can read a guide in The Times Money Mentor ‘What is the UK universal basic income trial and who can take part?’. Unfortunately the article in The Times is hidden behind pay barrier.

The following day (5 June) the BI trial was discussed on Channel 4 StephsPackedLunch at 12 hrs (from 20 to 28 mins). It is good that the BI topic is mentioned to a wider audience, but you can also learn what happens when no well-informed person is participating in the discussion. The same day Channel 4 News presented a better informed discussion ‘Universal basic income: The answer to poverty or a disincentive to work?’ speaking to Will Stronge who is in charge of the UBI project for the think tank, Autonomy, and Juha Leppänen who runs the Demos Helsinki think tank which supported the trial of the Finnish Government between 2017 and 2019.

The Daily Mail has produced the usual propaganda that the Basic Income would encourage people not to work contrary to available evidence: ‘They’re throwing money away’: Former Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins blasts ‘ridiculous’ universal income benefits trial handing £1.6K a month to people who will be paid without ever having to lift a finger’.

The Big Issue has published an article about the trial: How universal basic income’s impact on people’s finances could transform the nation’s health. A new trial for universal basic income could redefine how we see the social support system, say the authors of a major study on the scheme. and a comment from the editor: We must trust our universal basic instinct – As universal basic income trials begin in the UK, we must consider the overwhelming benefits of helping those most in need .

An article in The New Statesman ‘The left should champion universal basic services, not UBI Free public transport, higher education and social care is far more radical than free money’ proposed again this false antagonism between UBI and excellent Public Services. Some people have difficulties to understand that both are complementary and not mutually exclusive!

Left Foot Forward has contributed ‘Five proven benefits of Universal Basic Income’.

Which magazine has discussed the trial ‘Six questions about universal basic income answered – Which? looks at whether a trial of universal basic income in England could help millions of people struggling with the cost of living crisis’.

Paul Mason has discussed the trial in the New European ‘What if everyone were entitled to a universal basic income? – The impact would be behavioural and social as well as financial. But we won’t know until we try it’. He has stated wisely that we will not know all the positive effects and perhaps some unexpected unwanted effects, until we finally try it.

The planned trial has been discussed on Woman’s Hour of BBC on 14 June 2023. You can find the podcast here.

5) You may be interested in and can register for the following hybrid event of the Institute for Government ‘What policies can level up economic performance? How important are the economic aspects of levelling up, as opposed to other missions to increase pride in place and wellbeing?
When? Tuesday 27 June 2023, 11:00 — 12:00 (BST)

6) The Daily Maverick in South Africa has reported about food safety awareness week ‘Food Safety Day, Universal Basic Grant dialogue and men’s mental health’.

7) You may be interested in a book ‘The popularity of Basic Income – Evidence from the Polls’ written by Tijs Laenen which has just been published.

8) In the state of Oregon (USA), a ballot initiative is making progress towards establishing a statewide Rebate similar to a Universal Basic Income. You can find more information here.