Dialogue with @boycottworkfare

@Boycottworkfare is concerned that a form of the Citizens’ Income could be used to justify workfare. Not really. This has arisen because UKIP’s 2010 General election manifesto included the surprising proposal of a ‘Basic Cash Benefit’ (BCB), the unconditional payment of an effective CI at the level of Jobseekers Allowance. Leaving aside that Johnny Void points out that UKIP are now trying to hide that startling piece of (sort of) social justice,


UKIP’s policies are still based on the assumption that everyone should have to work. Indeed, the title of their policy document is ‘Welfare to Workfare’. Oddly enough, if the only choice was between UKIP’s 2010 proposals and what this government is actually doing, I would prefer UKIP. But although both UKIP and IDS recognize the work disincentive caused by means testing, they both fudge the issue. UKIP’s BCB, like IDS’s Universal Credit, is only a partial Citizens’ Income. Both leave large chunks of means testing, and are firmly rooted in the assumption that benefits must be chained to jobs.

Actually, I have never said that the Citizens’ Income will automatically get rid of workfare, only that it will make that possible, whereas the attack on workfare will be extremely difficult without it. The precise effect of a CI depends on other policies in conjunction with it, so yes, I suppose even a full CI could be used alongside workfare. But only the complete abolition of means testing opens the way to a ‘persuasion is better than force’ approach.

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