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The benefits system should be scrapped – and replaced with a basic income, according to a charity.
A new report recommends giving every adult in Scotland an annual wage of £2,400, rising to £4,800. Children would be paid £1,500.
The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures) charity says this would end the stigma of receiving benefits, and also end the punitive Universal Credit regime.
There would be long term benefits in health and wellbeing, says the RSA.
The idea of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) has gained some traction in Scotland’s third sector.
And the Scottish Government supports proposed trials of the system by councils in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife and North Ayrshire.
The RSA report highlights trials in Canada and Finland which have suggested basic income could work without discouraging people from participating in the labour market.
Jamie Cook, head of the RSA, said: “It’s an old idea. It is the idea that every person receives a regular, unconditional and secure payment from the state. It is money to give people the chance to make decisions in their life, to know that they have that money coming in on a regular basis.
“And particularly in contrast to the systems we have now, it doesn’t place conditions, sanctions and punishments on how they use that money.”
Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “In addition to delivering a better social security system built on dignity and respect, the Scottish Government is committed to reducing poverty and tackling inequality. Therefore, we are interested in any proposal that would help us achieve this, including lessons learned through international basic income pilots.
“That is why we committed to explore a Citizen’s Basic Income (CBI) study and four local authorities have begun research into the feasibility of a CBI pilot.