This is the launch of my blog on the Citizens’ Income. The original post on 4th October was meant to be a draft, but apparently I hit ‘publish’ by mistake. From now on I intend to post weekly, normally on a Friday night, starting on the 2nd November. I shall discuss various aspects of the Citizens’ Income as covered in my book, but including further ideas – these always evolve. But an important purpose is that instead of railing impotently at the TV or radio, as some news item to which the CI is relevant crops up without any mention of it, you will find it here.
The most urgent point now is to give advance notice of two events. On Saturday 3rd November I have been invited to speak at a conference organized by the Socialist Party
Initially I warned the organizers that a) I was not speaking on behalf of the Green Party, and b) They would not like everything I said. That is true, but the main feature of my talk will be the graph shown above, from page 88 of Dynamic Benefits: towards Welfare that works (2009) Economic Dependency Working group, Centre for Social Justice
This graph, incredibly in a publication commissioned by Ian Duncan Smith, shows clearly what I have been saying for 40 years – that the withdrawal of benefits through means testing is a disguised, but very real tax on low incomes. Having made a compelling case for a Citizens’ Income (no mention of it of course), the report’s recommendations are weak, and the government’s proposals bear little relation, despite the phrase ‘Universal Credit’. Among my wildest dreams is a vision of ‘scroungers’, in their thousands, marching through central London carrying placards quoting Dynamic Benefits:
“Those who avoid entering the labour market due to the withdrawal of benefits are not scroungers, they are making a rational decision”
Too much to hope for after all these years?
The other event is a launch of my book by the Green Economics Institute. Final details to follow, but it will be in Reading on 14th December