The objective of the basic income is to enable all people to pursue a career that gives them a sense of self fulfillment, that is useful for society, and for which they are qualified.
The basic income achieves this by providing all adults with ₤1000 per month, regardless of whether they work or not. This money would come from the state, and would replace nearly all existing state benefits.
Secondly, the tax system would be reformed in such a way that VAT would entirely replace income tax. This would be a far more efficient system, and tax evasion would no longer be possible.
These two reforms would lead to a huge cut in bureaucracy, and coupled with the increase in productivity that would follow as a consequence, the basic income would be affordable for the state. The basic income would be far more generous than the current state benefits, but surveys show that the majority of people would still work, as the basic income would be insufficient to pay for luxuries. In essence, the basic income represents a fundamental shift in the way we think about work and pay. We would no longer be dependent on jobs for money, and consequently we would have more freedom, and there would be a dramatic transfer of power from employer to employee.
The implications of the basic income are tremendous – workers would be empowered, housewives would be paid and would no longer have to say ‘I’m only a housewife’, the cultural scene would flourish as dependency on the miserly Arts Council funding would disappear, students would have access to all the books and resources they need and worries about tuition fees would be thing of the past, and the pensions crisis would no longer loom ominously over Britain’s future.
by Nicholas Thorne