The COVID-19 crisis is providing a major shock to the economy. One idea for protecting citizens from the economic effects is to implement a universal basic income. This idea is explored in a new paper written by Dr Rajiv Prabhakar, Senior Lecturer in Personal Finance at the OU, published in the IPPR Progressive Review.
The paper asks whether COVID-19 changes two key objections to a universal basic income among the left, namely that an adequate basic income would be unaffordable and there are alternative policies that are better for relieving poverty.
This paper argues that although the global pandemic has enlarged the realm of the possible for public spending, care should be taken about drawing general lessons from these exceptional conditions. Furthermore, universal basic services may remain an important alternative to a basic income for protecting citizens from the fall-out from coronavirus.