Basic Income: singles versus couplesISER Internal Seminars

Citizens Income (also known as Basic Income) is a system of welfare reform under which all individuals would receive a flat-rate benefit which would be not be subject to any form of means test or
readiness-for-work test. If this flat rate is set high enough, this benefit could replace most current welfare benefits, giving the advantage of greatly simplifying complex tax and benefit regimes and
eliminating the poverty and unemployment traps. Such schemes have been proposed in several countries, and limited CI-type schemes have been implemented in (for example) Brazil and Alaska. However, a major
obstacle to the implementation of these systems is their cost, in terms of the marginal tax rates which would be needed in order to fund them. Nearly all proposals for CI involve flat rate payments to all adults, regardless of their living arrangements; as well as increasing the cost of the schemes, this involves a substantial redistribution towards two-adult households. Using UK data with the EUROMOD microsimulation model, this paper calculates and compares the costs and distributional effects of (a) conventional CI systems at different levels of payment, and (b) modified systems under which couples receive a level of benefit lower than twice the benefit payable to a single person.

Presented by:

Maria Iacovou, ISER

Date & time:

June 3, 2009 12:00 pm - June 3, 2009 1:00 pm

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