Basic Income and Independent Living

The independent living movement must be included in the conversation about universal basic income.

Authors: Jim Elder-Woodward and Simon Duffy

Is UBI consistent with the goals of the Independent Living Movement?

This article was first published in 2019 in Social Alternatives Vol. 38 No 2.

The relationship between Universal Basic Income (UBI) and disability needs more discussion. Although basic income will bring some benefits for disabled people, the UBI that everyone is entitled to may not meet the extra costs that disabled people face in order to live an independent life in the community. This means that we must define an additional concept of Basic Income Plus (UBI+). The ‘plus’ is the amount that will meet the extra costs faced by disabled people in exercising their citizenship.

There is also important resistance to the idea of UBI by some within the disabled people’s Independent Living Movement. Understanding and overcoming this resistance may prove important to the long-term success of UBI. In particular, it is argued here that the UBI community would benefit from attending to the core purpose of the Independent Living Movement, and to identifying the empowerment of potential as the ultimate goal of UBI.

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The publisher is Social Alternatives.

Basic Income Plus: Is UBI consistent with the goals of the Independent Living Movement? © Jim Elder-Woodward and Simon Duffy 2019.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.


Paper | 21.04.20

Basic Income, disability, Inclusion, tax and benefits, England, Paper

Jim Elder-Woodward OBE


Campaigner and Researcher

Simon Duffy


President of Citizen Network

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