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Basic Income Plus

We are currently working with people with disabilities to explore whether basic income could be a good way of reforming the whole system of social security. Our goal is to develop ideas and to make a presentation at the next annual conference of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).

Basic Income in a Disabling World

Social security systems often provide income for people with disabilities, but by using distinct systems, based on an assumption that disabled people cannot work. At the same time discussions about basic income often assume that people with a disabilities are a ‘special case’ whose extra needs cannot fit into any basic income system. For these reasons people with disabilities are not seen as likely beneficiaries of a basic income system.

The panel will questions these assumptions and will consider whether:

  • adaptions are possible to create an inclusive model of basic income
  • basic income might bring major benefits for people with disabilities
  • people with disabilities are an ideal group to lead piloting of new systems

We will also discuss people’s fears. Many people are worried that basic income will only mitigate inequality and injustice, but will not tackle the root causes of those problems. Some worry that overall standards for income security and and public services will also be eroded.

Most importantly we will begin the process of including people with disabilities into these discussion - for it is their perspective is critical to any international developments.

Disability Sheffield will be a partner in this work and will help ensure the voices of people with disabilities are central. Other participants include:

  • Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform, based in Sheffield, England. Simon is part of Basic Income UK, secretary to Citizen network and is best known for his work on disability reform in the UK.
  • Christian Ståhl is Associate Professor at Linköping University Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Work and Rehabilitation. His work includes analysis of efforts by Government to help people into work.
  • Markus Vähälä is a project co-ordinator in a non-profit organisation named Lyhty in Helsinki, Finland. Markus has specialised degrees in IT and nursing and has worked professionally in Lyhty since 1998. He has worked closely with the famed punk rock band PKN and is leading the development of Citizen Network Finland and the citizen think-tank Syn Erga.