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The perils of basic income: ambiguous opportunities for the implementation of a utopian proposal

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The oft-repeated accusation of utopianism against basic income advocates is contradicted by evidence that aspects of this proposal may be entering the social policy mainstream. But – as in every sphere of public policy – the measures proposed are compromised with other longstanding principles. Using the example of the tax-benefit reforms scheduled to be introduced in the United Kingdom (UK), this article argues that there are risks of undesirable consequences (in terms of justice and equal citizenship) from the adoption of such partial versions of the scheme, but that they represent necessary first steps towards the gains claimed for a full basic income.
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Keywords: BIG SOCIETY; CITIZENSHIP; COALITION GOVERNMENT; JUSTICE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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