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Citizen's Income: Rights and Wrongs
David Piachaud
November 2016
Paper No' CASE/200:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: H53; H55; I30; I380

Tags: citizen’s income; basic income; conditionality; social justice

A Citizen’s Income, or a Basic Income, is not a new idea but it has been receiving increasing attention. There is confusion about the idea and an attempt is made to distinguish different concepts. Then a full Citizen’s Income is examined in relation to four key criteria: the justice of an unconditional benefit; the possibility and fairness of a simple individual benefit; economic efficiency; and political feasibility. On all four criteria, Citizen’s Income fails. It is concluded that Citizen’s Income is a wasteful distraction from more practical methods of tackling poverty and inequality and ensuring all have a right to an adequate income.