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Covid-19 and a Basic Income in the UK

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 02 JULY 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic has brutally exposed the shortcomings of a flexible labour market combined with a limited welfare safety net in the UK.

In the latest webinar from the Centre for Brexit Studies, Director Professor Alex de Ruyter and Researcher David Hearne presented the latest research conducted by the Centre into the concept of a Basic Income in the UK.

The report, titled ‘Covid-19 and a Basic Income in the UK: Making it Work’, argues that a relatively generous Basic Income is affordable in the UK and can be paid for via a comprehensive reform of the tax and benefits system.

Alex and David discussed the research, identifying the potential for wealth taxes as addressing any funding shortfall, as well as why a limited Basic Income fails to address the fundamental problem of the current system.

As the UK struggles to cope with the pandemic and calls to “re-open the economy” gather pace, Alex and David argued the increasing urgency and appeal of a comprehensive Basic Income, and if it could ever become an accepted part of the political landscape.

The webinar also included views and opinions from fellow Academics Vicky Pryce, Mike Danson, Guy Standing, Stan Siebert and Michael Pugh. 

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