Scottish council to vote on implementing a Universal Basic Income scheme



  • As the threat to jobs from AI, automation, drones and robotics increase governments are experimenting with new welfare schemes aimed at helping stave off future hardship, poverty and social unrest


Scotland could become one of the first places in the world to try a Universal Basic Income (UBI) and next week Fife councillors will discuss whether to move ahead with a limited trial.


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Over the past couple of years governments have been increasingly worried about what is seen as the growing threat to jobs from artificial intelligence, automation and robotics as the technologies advance and become more than capable of replacing not just traditional blue collar jobs but white collar jobs as well – from journalists, surgeons and lawyers to factory floor workers and maintenance workers, no job seems immune. With some estimates putting joblessness at between 35 percent and 45 percent governments are obviously keen to try to find a way to stave off what they see as the inevitable hardship, poverty and social unrest that would follow on as a result – and that’s where UBI comes into play.

If approved, Scotland would join the Netherlands, where a trial is currently taking place, and Finland, where one is set to start next year, and they’ll be one of the first nations to actually implement the radical policy.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Scotland to look at something quite radical and put the country at the forefront of work in a policy which is getting growing levels of support across Europe,” Jamie Cooke, head of the Royal Society of Arts Scotland that has been researching the idea, said in a report published Wednesday.


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“People working in the field in Finland and Holland are now looking at Scotland as a place where this can be developed.”

The Royal College of Arts, which has been researching the idea, has suggested £3,692 ($4,559.60) per year for adults, £7,420 ($9,163.66) for people over 65, and between £2,925 ($3,612.36) and £4,290 ($5,298.13) for children dependant on age and the number of siblings.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.


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