Ash Denham MSP has welcomed the findings of a report into the feasibility of a Citizens’ Basic Income, which concluded that a pilot is desirable.
However, the Citizens’ Basic Income Feasibility Study Steering Group – made up of four local authorities, including The City of Edinburgh Council – said that a pilot is not feasible within the current devolved settlement, as necessary welfare and tax powers remain with the UK Government through DWP and HMRC.
The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell MSP, has now written to UK Ministers urging them to engage constructively with the Scottish Government on the scheme.
The Scottish Government had invested £250,000 into this study over 2018/19 and 2019/20 to look into the practicalities of introducing a pilot Citizens’ Basic Income scheme, also referred to as a ‘Universal Basic Income’.
Commenting, Ms. Denham said:
“I welcome the findings of this report published by the Citizens’ Basic Income Feasibility Study Steering Group, which included representation from the City of Edinburgh Council, that it would be desirable to pilot a universal basic income.
“There have been many calls from politicians, third sector organisations, and the public that a universal basic income should be introduced to provide support to people and reduce poverty – and those calls have been louder during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I fully support the Scottish Government in writing to the UK Government urging them to engage constructively on this matter and discuss the next steps towards a pilot for a Citizens’ Basic Income.”