Students make plea for basic income

A think tank led by Edinburgh students is calling for a radical overhaul of the welfare system.

The Buchanan Institute is backing a scheme that replaces all welfare benefits with a regular cash payment for all citizens, regardless of circumstances.

The Institute, which is Scotland’s first and only student-led think tank, will deliver its report on the idea – known as universal basic income – at a launch event tomorrow (Thursday 26 January).

Policy proposal

Affiliated to Edinburgh University Students' Association, the Buchanan Institute provides a platform for students to propose their own policy alternatives for a better society. 

In its report, the Institute calls for further testing and investigation into universal basic income. The concept is gaining traction across the political spectrum, with trials taking place in Finland, the Netherlands and Canada.

The report has received interest from Councillors, MSPs and MPs. The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has requested to use it as evidence to be considered by the Scottish Parliamentary Committee on Social Security for its upcoming investigation into a universal basic income.

The Buchanan Institute’s proposal has also been supported by the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (RSA).

Launch event

The free launch event takes place on Thursday 26 January from 6-7.30pm in Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower.

Register for tickets:

The event will feature Councillor Matt Kerr, who is leading efforts in Glasgow to pilot a basic income, and Jamie Cooke, Head of RSA Scotland.

Related links

The Buchanan Institute

Eventbrite listing

Universal basic income blogpost