Universal basic income is a solution put forward to grapple with increasing inequality, the changing labour market and an ageing global population. The idea that all citizens receive a regular sum of money from the public coffers is not a new one, but it is certainly gaining more traction, with the UK, Switzerland, Finland and the Dutch city of Utrecht all toying with the idea to varying degrees. In Kenya, the charity ‘Give Directly’ is aiming to give thousands of Kenyans basic income for a decade, to investigate how a level of financial freedom changes people’s
behaviour.

Philosophy, HSPS and Economics applicants should consider how far universal basic income can lead to individual empowerment. Economics and PPE applicants should question how universal basic income  challenges society to reconsider the presumptions of neoliberal capitalism: do we believe the principles of trust and individual self-motivation can preside over those of shame and fear.

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