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Universal basic income: the way forward?

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Universal basic income is not an idea confined to any particular part of the political spectrum: it has advocates on the left, among free-marketeers on the right, and across the centre. It is a topic that has been debated on Progress pages a number of times over the past few years: both sides of the argument have been represented in discussion hereherehere and here for starters.

It is certainly a radical idea – and, as Progress director Richard Angell argues, that should be reason to examine it further rather than dismiss it – but is it a good one?

On the podcast today, we have the RSA’s Anthony Painter, a longtime vocal advocate of UBI, as a guest to try and convince us that it is. He answers a range of our questions on how it would work, and why it would be the best way to alleviate poverty.

In his essay for Progress magazine last year, A radical new state, Painter argued that new progressivism needs to promote individualism as a route to greater citizenship and a better society – and he sees enormous potential in UBI for achieving this.

I remain a sceptic of the policy, but – as Labour’s direction of movement appears to move towards it – it is one worth looking at closely.

– Conor Pope, deputy editor


The Progressive Britain Podcast

The Progressive Britain Podcast on Conservative party conference

Is universal basic income just a pipe-dream or is it necessary for a new age of automation? Conor PopeRichard Angell and Henna Shah sit down with Anthony Painter from the RSA to dispel some of the myths – and discuss the potential opportunities – of UBI.

Listen >>>


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Conor Pope

is deputy editor at Progress

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