Frank Field, Heidi Allen MP, Universal Credit – and Basic Income

This week , Heidi Allen, a Conservative MP broke down in Parliament over the effect of Universal Credit. What brings tears to my eyes is Caroline Lucas’s failure to link the Universal Basic (Citizens’) Income (UBI) to this issue.

I was given some friendly advice the other day. “Clive, don’t be a one trick pony, You have to show that you have something to say on a wide range of topics” (Actually it’s two tricks: saving the ecosphere with the help of the UBI).

I was going to write about the productivity (fallacy) this week, but if one of my pony’s tricks is not being performed where it is desperately needed, what am I supposed to do? If a Conservative MP becoming tearful due to a speech on Universal Credit by Frank Field doesn’t show how desperately the UBI is needed, what does?

I look forward to the day when I owe Caroline Lucas an apology. She does mention the UBI, but to my knowledge she has never done so in connection with either of the two areas where it matters most: making a sustainable economy acceptable, or the Universal Credit.

I am also under the impression that she has not, as I have requested, mentioned my blog to Mhairi Black MP. I have of course emailed Ms Black directly, but not only am I not a constituent, she has, she believes, heard all there is to hear about the UBI from the horse’s mouth – a Work & Pensions Select Committee inquiry on 12th January 2017.

The Youtube video shows that the UBI experts failed to convince this extremely important Committee (Ms Black is a member) over the questions of funding, and disability. I believe my newly discovered Asperger’s might explain why. The UBI experts have details at their fingertips where I would be shaky, but I could give Ms Black a wider vision than they did. My blog does not contain complete answers, but it does show how apparently formidable obstacles can be overcome with a change in mind set.

As originally intended, the Universal Credit would have made work pay – marginally.  (The link takes some time to download nearly 400 pages). But even that limited ‘vision’ was wrecked by, among others, George Osborne. It is a continuing failure.

But that excellent report (on behalf of Iain Duncan Smith!!) would read even better under the heading “The Case for the Universal Basic Income”.

My friend also advised me: “Nowadays your blog needs to fit on a smartphone screen.” Ho hum.

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