Poverty Reduction - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:12 pm on 22 February 2024.

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Photo of Lord Desai Lord Desai Non-affiliated 1:12, 22 February 2024

Yes, it was Sam Brittan. Sam Brittan, James Meade and I were the three people advocating a basic income back in the 1960s and 1970s. This is not a new idea; there is a whole volume called the Palgrave International Handbook of Basic Income, in which I have a contribution. The whole idea of a basic income is the most convincing way I have seen to tackle poverty.

There was a social justice commission appointed by John Smith, when he was leader of the Labour Party. I submitted evidence to it, but it came to nothing because he passed away.

I do not have any more time, but the whole idea of a basic income, paid to women on the electoral register, is something that we should explore seriously to see whether it works.