Basic Income as a vote winner

Start: Tuesday, September 06, 2022 6:00 PM British Summer Time (GMT+01:00)

End: Tuesday, September 06, 2022 7:30 PM British Summer Time (GMT+01:00)

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Some of the most common criticisms of a basic income are that it is too expensive and that it’s not possible to win the public and political support for the policy.

But the research presented at this event shows that an affordable basic income can have a dramatic impact on poverty and that a basic income is a vote winner, specifically in crucial swing seats.

How can a modest basic income cut poverty by half? Is basic income a vote winner?

The research presented at this event was funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of a wider project assessing the health case for basic income.

The first report, Tackling poverty: the power of a universal basic income, now published by Basic Income Conversation and Compass, presents a fiscally-neutral model of basic income. It cuts child poverty to an historic low, below the low point achieved in the late 1970s.

The second report, Winning the vote with a universal basic income: Evidence from the 'red wall', examines public perception of basic income within the crucial ‘red wall’ seats lost by Labour to the Conservatives in the 2019 General Election.

It finds a high level of support for basic income even from voters with conservative social values. The report presents the framings of basic income that elicit these high levels of support.

Armed with models of basic income that reverse the poverty and inequality rises of the last 45 years and methods of effectively communicating the potential impact of a basic income to voters we can win the vote for a basic income.

  • Professor Matthew Johnson - Matthew Johnson is a Professor in the department of Politics at Northumbria, where he focuses on the linkages between culture, policy and well-being. Professor Johnson also leads a research team focusing on the health case for Universal Basic Income, modelling its potential benefits, as well as looking at the ethics and feasibility of a health-focused UBI. Professor Johnson is also the author of Evaluating Culture: Wellbeing, Institutions and Circumstance (2013), as well as a number of research articles on the health case for basic income.

  • Stewart Lansley, economist and financial journalist - Stewart is a visiting fellow at the School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol and a Council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. He has written widely  on inequality, wealth and poverty and advocates a guaranteed, automatic, basic income floor as set out in the new report.  He contrasted a basic income floor and a Minimum Income Guarantee in his chapter for the 2021 book The Return of the State. He is the author of The Richer, the Poorer, How Britain Enriched the Few and Failed the Poor, published by Bristol University Press.
  • Will Stronge, ESRC Research Fellow and director of research for Autonomy - Will is an ESRC Research Fellow and as director of research, supports the business consultancy service of Autonomy. Currently, he is running pilots on shorter working hours in organisations in the UK.

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