Universal basic income

Core concept :

  • It was proposed by left liberal political philosopher Philippe van Pari in his book real freedom for all.
  • According to him, basis for universal basic income is the fair distribution of real freedom to pursue the realisation of ones conception of the good life.
  • Core of the concept of basic income is absence of means test(income of an individual) and work test (employment status).
  • An alternative to universal basic income is negative income tax. According to this, individuals below a certain income threshold receives a tax credit.
  • It is the difference between basic income or guaranteed income and tax liability. It is based on a premise that all citizens will pay the taxes.

The main features of universal basic income are 

  1. It is provided to all the citizen by the state with out basic conditions like level of income and employment requirements.
  2. It is not a substitute to the existing developmental and welfare programmes. It is an add on to the existing anti poverty programmes. It is technically wrong to compare the costs of universal basic income with nutritional, child development, education and health programmes. So, internationally universal basic income is proposed in lieu of employment or income guarantee schemes.
  3. It is envisaged as a method of redistribution of wealth. So, funds shall be raised from taxation of rich rather than cutting down the expenditure on welfare.
  4. It should be universal and not targeted an end use shall not be specified.(unconditional)
  5. Resource mobilisation has to increase ten fold for the state to take up universal basic income.

Unlike this, economic survey has proposed an alternative view of universal basic income as a substitute to the existing welfare programmes.