Breathing Space

Living a Citizen's Income



Rutger Bregman Ted Talk Poverty Isn’t a Lack of Character, It’s a Lack of Cash

So well put….



Historian and journalist Rutger Bregman is making waves with his new book Utopia for Realists, a crystal clear critique of the dominant narratives and discourses of poverty and poor people. Glorious. Here are some links:

You-tube list of videos Rutger Bregman and Universal Basic Income

Book review by BIEN(Basic Income Earth Network)


Citizens Income Pilot – Ontario Canada

Canada is launching an experiment that will give 4,000 people free money until 2020
Two regions of the city of Ontario will  begin the social experiment, with a third joining in autumn.

Premier Katherine Wynne announces the pilot project.

Thanks Michaela!

Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

An exciting alternative to growth economics which looks like a very congenial context for Citizen’s Income.

doughnut diagram

George Monbiot in the Guardian

The diagram consists of two rings. The inner ring of the doughnut represents a sufficiency of the resources we need to lead a good life: food, clean water, housing, sanitation, energy, education, healthcare, democracy. Anyone living within that ring, in the hole in the middle of the doughnut, is in a state of deprivation. The outer ring of the doughnut consists of the Earth’s environmental limits, beyond which we inflict dangerous levels of climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution, loss of species and other assaults on the living world.

The area between the two rings – the doughnut itself – is the “ecologically safe and socially just space” in which humanity should strive to live. The purpose of economics should be to help us enter that space and stay there.

Thanks, Jane Francis – this is brilliant!


Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Fife Pilot Meeting

The second CBINS meeting was another sell out, held in the beautiful new Kelty Community Centre on Saturday 28th January. A central focus was Fife Council’s intention to carry out a local pilot in a small central/West Fife village in the next three years.  One of the aims of this meeting was to open up discussion early on,  to flag up perceived benefits and potential pitfalls. It felt like a real treat to be sitting listening to political philosopher Professor Karl Widerquist as he set the scene so passionately.  We are the only species alive he said, who  don’t have direct  access to the resources to fulfil our basic needs of food, shelter and connection. Continue reading “Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Fife Pilot Meeting”

Universal Basic Income and Recognition Theory – A Tangible Step towards an Ideal

by Roisin Mulligan

While looking for info on economist Amartya Sen, I came across this essay by Roisin Mulligan, which won the 2012 BIEN Essay Prize.  She writes:

In the context (of basic income), the basic idea underlying theories of recognition is that persons need to have their individual identities ‘recognised’ in the same way they value themselves in order to flourish as human beings. What this entails varies from one account to another, but it broadly requires that each individual must be affirmed for his or her innate characteristics and contributions.

I’ve just skimmed so far, but looking forward to reading properly as there is a very useful focus on  work and an analysis of it.



Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy.

Laurie Taylor talks to Robert H. Frank, Professor of Economics at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, about the role luck has to play in life’s successes, or failures.

Thinking Allowed @16min 37secs

Frank argues that chance is much more significant than people give it credit for. Lynsey Hanley, writer and Visiting Fellow at the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University, joins the discussion.

Continue reading “Laurie Taylor – Thinking Allowed”

Launch – Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Sat 26th Nov, Pearce Institute, Govan

Article 25 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

It’s a great feeling to be in at the beginning of something – the launch of Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland – however unwieldy the title is! One young turk,  alluding to the clunkiness of the nomenclature, proposed we cut to the chase, get radical and call it the ef-off payment.  All credit to the panel, some of whom have been trailblazing the radical notion of citizens income for forty years, for  accepting the suggestion of a foff payment with grace and humour. Glasgow  and Govan rise to the occasion once more.

The keynote speaker was Guy Standing who in May this year gave the RSA SCOTLAND: ANGUS MILLAR LECTURE 2016 on Basic Income in relation to Scotland.   Continue reading “Launch – Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Sat 26th Nov, Pearce Institute, Govan”

Chatting to my old friend Sid about Citizen’s Income, and next thing I get these books through the post.sids-books-1-1

Both pertinent in their different ways.  As well as enough money, the Skidelskys propose seven ‘basic goods’ essential for a good life: health, security, respect, personality, harmony with nature, friendship, leisure.  Rachel Holmes biography of Eleanor Marx should be made into a television series directed by Danny Boyle.  Remarkable insights e.g. Karl Marx on Christianity (paraphrased): the one thing Christianity has going for it is that it puts children at the heart of things.

Blog at

Up ↑