What is Universal Basic Income? - RSA

What is Universal Basic Income?

Video 3 Comments

  • Democracy and governance
  • Economy

Everyone’s talking about a ‘citizen’s income’ or ‘basic income’, but what on earth is it?

It sounds like a Utopian dream, but support for a flat, government-sponsored annual income is growing across the world. Exponents argue that it would reduce inherent inequities in the current system, and provide a secure platform for everyone to live a fulfilling, creative life. Watch this short new explainer video for a quick rundown of the basics!

Created with our RSA Animate collaborators, Cognitive Media.
Voiceover and script: Anthony Painter, RSA

Find out more about the RSA’s work on Universal Basic Income


Twitter  Instagram  


Join the discussion


Please login to post a comment or reply

Don't have an account? Click here to register.

  • The government has just passed law that says everybody has to be paid nine pounds an hour which is great. I am an OAP and  we are expected to live on a third of that I know we cost the economy a vast amount of money .

    I am an OAP  also founder of [ ushed-coop.com ] please visit I think all OAP  are in need of this service

    it could help them enjoy there twilight years and be able to afford to eat and keep warm in cold weather 

    making them more content / healthy / happy better able to fight minor ailments and falls which at present could escalate needing hospital treatment costing NHS  hundreds of millions of pounds year on year plus creating a bed shortage across the UK.

    Ushed will save NHS many -many millions of the monies they are having to spend , it will free beds for 

    patients needing urgent medical treatment or operations.

    It will also create many hundreds of jobs so good for OAP and good for the economy

    At present OAP are just an NHS number that can achieve nothing but if we joined together through

    ushed we would achieve  much more..

                                                                      TOGETHER WE CAN

  • A basic income must be seen as the means of sharing between all citizens a minimum part of what id produced.  Therefore its funding must not be from taxation through the Exchequer but through a levy of a fixed percentage on all incomes administered separately from the Exchequer.  Each citizen would have an account with the Administrator into which the levy would be paid and out of which the CI received.  For the majority the two would be close to balancing.  Administration costs would be low since no discretion would be required.

  • This is what real progress looks like. We can do this but have to ignore the powerful naysayers. It should logically come after Money Reform otherwise it just adds to the National Debt because of the way our money is now created.

    Positive Money and The Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin Q1 2014 Topical Article "Money Creation In The Modern World: An Introduction" clearly show how our money system operates as debt and can only create profits for private banks and more debt for us.

    Also, Basic Income must not replace our basic services but augment them.