How does basic income help with being unemployed?

The issues:

  • Under the current welfare system people can be forced into work that they find morally or socially unacceptable
  • Under the current system, people can be worse off taking up paid work than remaining on benefits, due to unemployment and poverty traps
  • The inefficiencies within the current bureaucratic system discourage people from availing of short-term employment
  • When a person is unemployed they do not have financial security and can find themselves at risk of poverty. Even if they are receiving a social welfare payment, it is subject to various conditions and is in danger of being withdrawn
  • Those who are unemployed often experience anxiety for their dependents and the financial security of their dependents
  • Those who are unemployed can often feel devalued and humiliated by the process of signing on which may include means testing, and dis-empowered by the social welfare system
  • Being unemployed for a long period of time can lead to a person becoming disconnected or excluded from society
  • Being unemployed can lead to a person feeling that they have lost their independence, their identity and their purpose
  • The current social welfare system offers little encouragement for entrepreneurship.

How a basic income could help:

  • A basic income offers those who are unemployed a simple, fair and transparent income support system that does not involve any administrative difficulties, means testing or signing on
  • A basic income allows people who are unemployed to take up paid, unpaid and self-employed work without losing their basic payment
  • A basic income ensures that taking up paid work is always worthwhile because it removes poverty traps and unemployment traps
  • A basic income provides unconditional basic financial security for individuals and their dependents and gives people control over their lives. They are no longer at the mercy of the social welfare system
  • A basic income recognises and supports unpaid work
  • A basic income supports entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities for those who become unemployed, in a much simpler manner than present allowances do
  • A basic income will eliminate the social stigma, humiliation and intrusiveness that can be associated with the present social welfare system.

What basic income will not do:

A basic income won’t solve unemployment and neither will it create jobs and/or paid work. However it does remove unemployment and poverty traps so it means that people are always available to take up jobs.