this issue we publish the second of a number of previously
unpublished pieces which have recently come to light (the
first was Chris Downs' article on pensions, which we published
in the first edition for this year). This time it's a working
party report on Citizenship and a Citizen's Income, a report
which has needed alteration only in relation to a few details.
We first publish the working party's own summary; then some
news items; and then the report itself. This means that
readers of the printed version of the newsletter will be
able to extract the report if they should wish to, and that
those who view the newsletter on the website will similarly
be able to print out the report.
is a new introductory leaflet. Either click
here to download it as a Word document, or write to
or email us
and we'll send you a copy.
here to download a letter about next year's newsletters,
and ways in which you can contribute financially to the
Citizen's Income Trust's work.
of the Report 'Citizenship and a Citizen's Income'
Citizen's Income is an unconditional, non-withdrawable and
automatic income for every citizen. But who is a citizen?
To whom should a Citizen's Income be paid ? And what effect
would a Citizen's Income have on the nature of citizenship
The history of citizenship in the UK has been one of increasing
civil, political and social rights, and subsequently of
the decline of those rights - and particularly of social
a) In the UK, there are degrees of citizenship and no univocal
definition of the 'citizen'.
b) Some traditional duties of citizenship, and particularly
the duty to seek employment, are now problematic because
not always fulfillable - suggesting that duties need to
c) Civil, political and social rights need an underpinning
of economic rights, and particularly the right to a non-stigmatising
The future of citizenship requires a universal financial
Proposals for a Citizen's Income: an unconditional income
paid to every man, woman and child: a flexible social policy
which would alleviate the poverty and unemployment traps,
and a social policy which might provide a new basis for
Who would get it?
a) The electoral register could be the basis for entitlement,
but the register would need to include people of no fixed
abode. Decisions would be needed over whether citizens of
other European Union nations should receive a Citizen's
Income (they are currently on the register if they live
here) and whether British citizens abroad should receive
a Citizen's Income.
b) Child Benefit is currently paid for the children of anyone
who has resided here for 26 weeks during the past year,
and such a criterion could determine who receives a Citizen's
Either a) or b) or both together could be employed to determine
who receives a Citizen's Income. (To employ a) would encourage
voter registration as a by-product).
The effects of a Citizen's Income on citizenship
a) The definition of the citizen would become clearer as
the payment of a Citizen's Income would help to define a
citizen. A new social solidarity might result.
b) Citizenship duties would be redefined (with a broader
definition of work) and many people would find it easier
to fulfil citizenship duties.
c) Citizenship rights would be less tied to the labour market,
and at the same time rights to and through the labour market
would be more accessible.
d) A Citizen's Income would encourage both social solidarity
and cultural diversity, and a Citizen's Income paid at the
European level as well as at the national level would contribute
to the definition of a European citizenship to complement
our British citizenship.
The conclusion raises the question as to whether a prior
definition of citizenship should determine who receives
a Citizen's Income or whether criteria for payment should
help to define citizenship. The latter is more consistent
with the British constitutional tradition.
Citizenship and a Citizen's Income
'Citizen's Income' is an unconditional, nonwithdrawable
and automatic income for every citizen: but who is a 'citizen'?
And what does it mean to be a 'citizen' ?
the beginning of a new millennium we cannot avoid the question
as to what kind of society we wish to live in and thus the
question of what it means to be a citizen. And as society,
technology, the economy and the labour market all change
more rapidly than ever before, we cannot avoid the task
of refashioning the tax and benefits system so that it better
serves the needs of a changing society.
ten years ago the Citizen's Income Trust convened a working
party to study these issues. Its deliberations were never
published. We believe that the issues discussed by the working
party are as relevant now as they were then, so (with only
minor changes) we here publish its report.
would like to thank Dr. Gail Wilson, Mr. James Dickens,
Professor Jane Lewis, Ms Melanie Nock, Mrs. Evelyn McEwen
and a variety of other individuals for their contributions
to the debate which led to this paper (and are only sorry
that they are not all still with us to see the publication
of their labours); and we would also like to thank Mr. Jos
Joures and his colleagues at the Department of Social Security
(as it then was) for helpful information.
'citizen' is "a member of a state." (1) Some countries'
residents are formally citizens but have few rights - and
it must be asked whether they are really citizens at all.
In most of the UK we are formally subjects of the monarch
rather than members of a state, but a variety of rights
and duties has evolved which constitute a degree of citizenship.
In this section of the report we relate the history and
contemporary nature of our citizenship.
The history of citizenship in the UK
terms of the modern debate on citizenship were set by T.H.
Marshall (2) when he formulated his three stages of civil,
political and social rights: legal rights relating to contracts,
followed by rights to participate in a representative democracy,
in turn followed by rights to the benefits of a welfare
state. This was no smooth evolution, but rather a conflict-driven
process and by no means an irreversible one. (3) Neither
is the citizenship which has evolved simply about the nation
state, but is a many-layered reality involving the many
different communities we all belong to: local, sectional,
economic, national, European .... (4)
citizenship is a web of rights and duties in relation to
the different communities to which we belong - but civil,
political and social rights relating to the nation state
remain the bedrock of other citizenship rights and duties,
and it is thus nation-state citizenship on which we shall
concentrate: a citizenship which "refers to a status
enjoyed by all full members of a ...... nation state,"
a status which combines elements of universality, equality
and participation. (5)
reversibility of citizenship's evolution has been amply
demonstrated recently by both ideological and structural
challenges to the Welfare State. The New Right's fear of
dependency coupled with an economy in which increased investment
frequently means a drop in employment have between them
made rights to welfare and employment problematic. Maurice
Roche sees the combined effects of contemporary changes
as a rolling-back of social citizenship (6) (Marshall's
third category) and the new economic situation we are in
as a requirement that we completely reinvent social citizenship.
the history of citizenship in the UK during the past two
centuries has been one of increasing civil, political and
social rights, and subsequently of the decline of those
rights, and particularly of the social rights which constituted
the welfare state and full employment policies of the post-war
We now turn to a more detailed description of the citizenship
which we currently enjoy in the UK.
Who is a citizen? - that is, who are the people to whom
we grant rights and from whom we expect the fulfilment of
There are some things which do not constitute the boundary:
for instance, not all British passport holders have a right
to reside here. And in relation to those things which do
determine the boundary (the Nationality Act, the Asylum
Bill) the boundary is far from fixed.
For different purposes the boundary is different. For instance:
Child Benefit is paid to anyone who is responsible for a
child and who has lived here for six out of the past twelve
months - though there are now exceptions (8); and means-tested
benefits can only be paid to someone 'habitually resident'
here, an adjudication on whether or not someone is 'habitually
resident' depending on the six factors: where the person's
centre of interest lies; whether he or she has stable employment;
the nature of the person's occupation; the person's reasons
for coming to the United Kingdom; the length and continuity
of residence outside the United Kingdom; and the person's
future intentions. (9) For those seeking refugee status,
rights to social security have been neither clear nor stable
during the past few years.
the UK, there are degrees of citizenship. Some people possess
civil rights but some do not (residents awaiting adjudication
on asylum requests cannot enter into a contract of employment),
some people have political rights but some do not (some
foreign nationals have permission to live and work here
but cannot vote; and clergy of the Church of England cannot
sit in the House of Commons); and some people have more
social rights than others (a foreign student might be entitled
to Child Benefit but not to means-tested benefits; to free
education for their children but not to NHS health care
There is thus no univocal answer to the question 'Who is
a citizen?' - which is going to pose problems for the administration
of any new universal benefits such as a Citizen's Income:
an unconditional, automatic and nonwithdrawable income for
every citizen. First of all, it is not clear to whom such
an income should be paid, and secondly, the payment criteria
which evolve would effectively determine who is a citizen
and who is not - and it could be argued that this decision
ought not to be made via benefits regulations.
welfare state is a system of duties (to honour contracts;
to vote in elections; to contribute according to one's means)
as well as a system of rights. (10) A duty formalised in
the seventeenth-century Poor Law and still enshrined in
National Insurance and means-tested benefits legislation
is the obligation to seek employment and the obligation
to take employment if it is offered. In the period of reconstruction
and full employment following the Second World War this
obligation made sense, but now that technological and employment
market change are as rapid as they are, much employment
is short-term, new investment often results in a loss of
employment, and the health of the employment market does
not directly correlate with a country's economic performance.
In general, temporary employment is replacing permanent
duty to work is now problematic, for how can there be a
duty when for many there is no opportunity, and when often
what is available is part-time employment and what is required
to lift a family off means-tested benefits is well-paid
full-time employment? Tax credits mean that no-one should
now suffer benefit withdrawal rates of 100% (which is what
used to happen to recipients of Income Support who found
employment), but the combined withdrawal rate of Tax Credits,
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit can still be 80%,
thus compromising a duty to undertake paid work.
has been suggested that in this new situation we ought to
alter the definition of 'work' to cover paid and unpaid
work, and particularly caring work in the family and in
the community: that we ought to alter the definition of
'work' to mean 'beneficial activity'. But it is easier to
change one's attitudes when financially and socially secure,
and many of those most in need of being able to re-evaluate
their own unpaid work are those with the least secure incomes
and those facing a variety of kinds of poverty (and this
is particularly the case for those who take their obligations
to their families seriously, for whom financial security
is both more of a necessity and more difficult to achieve).
(12) If as a society we need attitudes to work to change,
then providing individuals with a level of financial security
must be a priority.
Marshall's summary ignores any concept of economic rights,
that is, rights to economic resources by virtue of one's
citizenship. This is an important omission, for without
a certain income it is impossible to exercise rights and
duties. If van Gunsteren is correct in saying that "effective
citizenship does not only require a political say and a
legally protected status, but also a certain level of socio-economic
security," (13) then the welfare state's guarantee
of a minimum income is the foundation of civil, political
and social rights - even though the history and current
reasons for the complex system of benefits is not explicitly
about either the prevention of poverty or the foundation
of citizenship rights. (14)
the means by which an income is provided might negate its
status as an economic right, and Fred Twine suggests that
because citizenship is about the relationship between individuals
and institutions, the stigma attached to means-testing means
that "a means-tested benefit cannot provide a social
right of citizenship because it threatens the integrity
of the self." (15) Means-testing (and Tax Credits are
still means-tested benefits, even if they are administered
by the Inland Revenue) is an intrusive process which divides
people off from those citizens who earn or otherwise receive
an income without the state intruding into their relationships
or their daily activities. So , if economic rights are indeed
a prerequisite of civil, political and social citizenship
rights, then a positive right to resources must be established
which does not rely on a process which excludes people from
a sense of citizenship.
Commission on Citizenship which reported in 1990 (16) recommended
"that a floor of adequate social entitlements should
be maintained, monitored and improved when possible by central
government, with the aim of enabling every citizen to live
the life of a civilised human being according to the standards
prevailing in society." (17) Two major criteria for
the provision of such social rights are administrative simplicity
and a lack of stigma. (18) In the income maintenance field
current legislation leaves much to be desired in these respects,
for Tax Credits are far from simple in their administration
and they are understood to be intrusive means-tested benefits
(and more intrusive than previous benefits because an employee
can find that their employer knows more about their relationships
than they did before) and thus still carrying a degree of
The Future of Citizenship
introduction to the 'Dahrendorf Report' is as good a statement
as any of the kind of citizenship to which we might aspire:
'Wealth' "summarises what people value in their social
lives. The wealth of nations is therefore an objective which
transcends the boundaries of economics in the narrow sense.
Wealth must be socially sustainable. This is where social
cohesion comes in to describe a society which offers opportunities
to all its members within a framework of accepted values
and institutions. Such a society is therefore one of inclusion.
People belong: they are not allowed to be excluded. They
show commitment to values and institutions. The result is
a stakeholder society in which companies, organisations
and communities are linked to common purposes. Its members
enjoy the rights and accept the obligations of citizenship."
a citizenship will encompass civil, political and social
rights and duties, and will need to be founded on economic
rights and obligations. (20) In a changing world, that means
a universal financial security and, according to both Maurice
Roche and Barrie Sherman and Phil Jenkins, it requires a
Citizen's Income. (21)
Proposals for a Citizen's Income
have been a variety of proposals for a Citizen's Income,
and a variety of reasons for making them:
'Citizen's Income' is an unconditional income paid by the
state to every man, woman and child (22) as a right of citizenship.
It could be age-related, and there could be more for elderly
people than for adults of working age and more for adults
than for children. There could also be supplements for disability.
However, there would be no differences on account of income
or wealth, work status, gender or marital status.
Citizen's Income is an immensely flexible social policy.
It can operate with a variety of other benefits; it can
operate alongside the National Minimum Wage; it could be
funded by a wide variety of tax regimes; and however large
or small the Citizen's Income, it would alleviate the poverty
and unemployment traps, increase economic efficiency, be
simple and cheap to administer, promote a more flexible
labour market, increase employment, encourage training,
increase individual freedom, help prevent poverty, and unite
our society. (23)
Citizen's Income could be paid for in a variety of ways.
One possibility would be through reducing personal tax allowances
and reducing existing means-tested and National Insurance
benefits. The present system of income tax allowances could
be reduced. Everyone would receive the same Citizen's Income
payment, but richer people might contribute a little more
income tax than under the present system.
is of course considerable debate as to how much the Citizen's
Income should be. Initially a Transitional Citizen's Income
would be paid, perhaps of £20 per week for each adult
and £15 per week per child (i.e., £70 per week
for a couple with two children). This level of Citizen's
Income could be paid for by eliminating all tax allowances
(although a personal allowance of £10 per week on
earned income might be retained) and introducing a new 50%
income tax on all incomes above £70,000 p.a... The
Transitional Citizen's Income would be deducted from existing
benefit entitlements. In time, if the experiment were a
success, the Transitional Citizen's Income might grow into
a Partial Citizen's Income, perhaps of half the rate of
Income Support. It is unlikely that a Full Citizen's Income
("enough to live on") would ever be either affordable
present tax and benefit system is now failing to do the
job it was originally intended to do. It has become complicated
and inefficient. Many young people are left in poverty,
and many adults are still caught in the unemployment trap
(which means that if they find employment their total income
rises very little) or the poverty trap (which means that
if their earnings increase their net income rises very little
- and with Tax Credits the range of earnings to which this
applies is now far wider than it was before).
a Citizen's Income would not be withdrawn as earnings rise,
even a small one would make a difference to this situation,
because a Transitional Citizen's Income would give families
more choices. At present, if a man becomes unemployed, it
is often not so worthwhile for his partner to remain in
employment because both income-related Jobseekers' Allowance
and Tax Credits take her income into account. With a Citizen's
Income they could decide to forego means-tested benefits
and either she could remain employed, or they could both
work part-time, or they might decide to start a business.
But whatever they chose to do, they would retain their Citizen's
Income as a secure foundation on which to build.
a small Citizen's Income would to some extent alleviate
the poverty and unemployment traps and thus give people
with low earnings potential significantly more choices than
they currently have, and significantly greater incentives
to seek employment or to train and seek better-paid employment.
Roche follows his call for a reformulation of social citizenship
with the suggestion that a Citizen's Income might provide
a new basis for social citizenship. (24) A Citizen's Income
"would ..... institutionalise citizenship principles
and the social rights of citizenship" (25) - those
principles being universality, equality and participation.
But whatever civil, political, social or economic definition
we give to 'citizenship', a Citizen's Income of any amount
would cohere with such a definition, for it would provide
an economic foundation for individual liberty and for contracts
between individuals, it would encourage political participation
because it would create a measure of social solidarity,
and it would provide a context for other social rights (such
as education) and duties (for it would alleviate the poverty
and unemployment traps and thus encourage people to seek
Who would get it?
a 'Citizen's Income' should be paid to citizens: but we
have already seen that it is no easy matter to determine
who is a citizen and who isn't. And because a Citizen's
Income would to some extent define a citizenry, the decision
as to who should receive it would be a particularly important
possibility is to pay a Citizen's Income to anyone on the
electoral register (and to under-18s if they would be on
the electoral register if they weren't under 18). If the
current register were used this would clearly have problems:
Someone with no address cannot be on the register, so to
give a Citizen's Income only to people on the register would
leave those without an address on lower means-tested benefits
(to which they are entitled) but not entitle them to the
Citizen's Income. Of more importance numerically is the
current state of the register. Approximately 350,000 people
in England and Wales took themselves off the register to
avoid paying the Community Charge, and the register has
still not entirely recovered. In 1993 1.5m people over the
age of 18 had failed to register for one reason or another,
(26) and, whilst registration campaigns have helped this
situation to some extent, and whilst it is now possible
to be included in the register at any point during the year
rather than only at an annual reregistering, the more mobile
nature of our society means that the register will still
be far from accurate. To base a Citizen's Income on such
an inaccurate register might deprive over 1m people of their
is however possible that to use the electoral register as
the criterion for payment would encourage people to register
and would thus improve democratic participation. (27) For
this reason the suggestion should be given careful consideration
- but the related problem of who should and who should not
be on the electoral register will still need to be addressed.
Some way would have to be found of including people with
no fixed abode; decisions would need to be taken as to whether
British citizens permanently abroad should a) be on the
electoral register, and b) receive the Citizen's Income;
and decisions would need to be taken as to which foreign
nationals resident here would be entitled to a Citizen's
Income. European Union citizens living here are allowed
on the electoral register and are entitled to a variety
of existing benefits and would presumably receive a Citizen's
good reason for considering a link between the electoral
register and a Citizen's Income is that legislation for
a Citizen's Income would need voter support, and to link
receipt of a Citizen's Income to the electoral register
might achieve this as it would clearly link rights to a
Citizen's Income to the fulfilment of duties (and especially
to the duty to vote) as well as to the receipt of rights
(and especially to the right to vote). (29) A Citizen's
Income would encourage an active citizenship, and to link
its payment to the electoral register would make this point
But such a link would not of itself determine who should
receive a Citizen's Income. One possibility is to model
the criterion for receipt on that for receipt of Child Benefit.
(30) Just as a Citizen's Income is a comprehensible and
simple payment, so surely the definition of who gets it
should be comprehensible and simple - which rather suggests
a rule such as that for Child Benefit, i.e., anyone who
has been in the country for 26 weeks during the past year.
This might give entitlement to some people who perhaps ought
not to receive a Citizen's Income (such as foreign students),
but it might be better to pay the Citizen's Income to them
rather than to exclude them and at the same time create
a tangle of regulations or a playground for discretion.
If all of those in receipt of Citizen's Income were permitted
to seek employment then the tax paid would in most cases
repay the Citizen's Income.
two approaches: the link to the electoral register, and
the parallel with current Child Benefit regulations, could
be considered either separately or together (with the 26-weeks
criterion determining both inclusion on the electoral register
and receipt of a Citizen's Income).
The effects of a Citizen's Income on citizenship
The definition of the citizen.
set of regulations is eventually chosen to determine who
should receive a Citizen's Income, the establishment of
a Citizen's Income would create a clearer boundary for the
citizenry (and given that this is the case, the Citizen's
Income should probably be paid to all those who are currently
regarded as British citizens but who don't live here). Citizenship
is, according to Goodin, "a social creation, constituted
out of symbols of one sort or another," (31) so a welfare
entitlement creates citizenship, both because it is an economic
right of citizenship and because it is a set of symbols
- and this would be particularly the case with a universal
and unconditional income, for it would create a new social
solidarity, even if the amount of the Citizen's Income were
an article written in 1974, Ralf Dahrendorf worried about
the possibility that citizenship rights, by granting greater
autonomy to the individual, might destroy the fabric of
society needed to underpin those rights. (32) A Citizen's
Income would not have this effect, for by being a universal
and unconditional income - however small - it would deliver
social solidarity and thus contribute positively to the
necessary foundation for other civil, political, social
and economic rights.
well as making citizenship rights more diverse and more
secure, a Citizen's Income might offer a realistic prospect
that citizenship duties which are now difficult to fulfil
would be easier to fulfil. By ameliorating to some extent
the poverty and unemployment traps (and these still exist
under the new Tax Credits regime), a Citizen's Income would
encourage people to take employment - and particularly self-
and part-time employment. The labour market would diversify,
and it would be more likely that someone would find the
kind of employment which would enable them to fulfil their
obligations to their family (33) and to their community
as well as the obligation to work for a living. With a Citizen's
Income, the duty to work could mean less paid employment
and more unpaid work: work in the family and in the community;
and a Citizen's Income, by recognising the importance of
unpaid work, might encourage the measurement of such work
and thus encourage the doing of it. In particular, by increasing
someone's ability to accept part-time employment rather
than full-time employment, a Citizen's Income would make
it easier for both women and men to fulfil their parental
duties towards their children.
from discouraging the fulfilment of citizenship obligations,
a Citizen's Income would encourage their fulfilment and
would encourage the fulfilment of an obligation to participate
in society by making possible a more diverse definition
of work and by making it more possible to do more kinds
of work. At the same time, a Citizen's Income would give
status and self-respect to those who are, for various reasons,
excluded from the paid labour market, but who are able to
take unpaid employment and make a contribution to society.
Irish Conference of Major Religious Superiors' definition
of citizenship "is not simply about political rights
such as the right to vote, to equality before the law, to
possession of a passport. It is also about social rights
such as the right to adequate income, to meaningful work,
to participation in society." (34) They recognise that
in the past these rights were mainly delivered via full
employment, but that that is now unlikely to be the case
- and that a Citizen's Income might now provide a certain
amount of economic security in order to combat the social
exclusion which will inevitably follow the loss of full
employment. They also believe - probably correctly - that
a Citizen's Income, by somewhat uncoupling a full-time job
from income, (35) would contribute to a redefinition of
'work' as "anything one does that contributes to the
development of one's self, one's community or the wider
society." (36) Thus a Citizen's Income would create
rights both to income and to work.
labour market will remain one means of providing an income,
of providing useful work, and of achieving social participation,
but it will no longer be a vehicle for rights to these social
necessities - which is why Fred Twine believes that "the
concept of social interdependence ... provides a powerful
rationale for a [Citizen's] Income as a means of sharing
in industrial societies where people are dependent upon
selling their labour power as a means to life but where
this cannot be guaranteed." (37)
a Citizen's Income would integrate those members of society
who are permanently without paid work (because they have
a severe disability or are caring for someone who has, because
they are over retirement age, or because they are caring
for the young or the old) with those who permanently or
occasionally gain their livelihood and other social necessities
through the labour market. At present there is little in
the tax and benefits structure which unites these two sections
of society. A Citizen's Income of any size would be a contribution
to social integration for those necessarily permanently
without paid work, as well as for those without paid work
because they cannot find any. A Citizen's Income would thus
contribute to the social solidarity we need if we are to
balance the pursuit of individual freedom with the pursuit
a Citizen's Income would have an adverse effect on the right
to receive a fair economic reward for labour is a complex
issue, but clearly an important one. Like Family Credit,
a Citizen's Income could act as a subsidy to low wages,
and it is possible that wage rates would fall if employers
no longer had to cover the whole of someone's subsistence
income. It is also possible that an increase in part-time
employment and in low-paid employment would reduce the skills
base, reduce the development of innovative technologies,
and reduce employment rights generally. These issues are
already important ones. A high-skill, high-wage economy
has advantages for economic efficiency. Employment rights
legislation and the National Minimum Wage are the routes
to this scenario. By alleviating to some extent the poverty
and unemployment traps, and by making the labour market
more flexible, a Citizen's Income would make its own contribution
to the efficient and just economy we need.
Citizen's Income would confer rights to an income and increased
rights to paid employment (because it would make it easier
for many people to pursue full-time employment, part-time
employment or self-employment and to seek further education
or training). A Citizen's Income, by revitalising citizens'
social rights, might also create a new sense of social identity.
A variety of citizenships
dissenting note in the citizenship debate is struck by Iris
Young, who worries about the homogenising effect of the
citizenship idea. Her kind of citizenship is diverse, and
includes "pride in group specificity against ideals
of assimilation." (39)
is precisely this kind of citizenship which a Citizen's
Income would encourage - because, unlike education or health
care, the content of what is purchased with an income is
not prescribed; because a Citizen's Income, by increasing
an individual's liberty, would contribute both to social
solidarity and to cultural diversity; and because by imposing
no cultural norms (as Income Support and Tax Credit regulations
do by assuming the financial dependence of one member of
a married couple - or of a couple living together as husband
and wife - on the other), a Citizen's Income would create
a society in which different cultures and lifestyles can
relate to one another on a more equal basis and thus contribute
to social cohesion.
aspect of diverse citizenship is 'multiple citizenship'-
for we all belong to particular groups, to institutions,
to localities and to the nation state - and to all of them
we give different kinds of loyalty. Similarly, we all belong
to the Continent of Europe. At all of these levels we have
citizenship rights and duties, so we are citizens at all
of these levels and not just at the level of the nation
state. (40) It might therefore be appropriate to establish
a Citizen's Income at more than one level - and particularly
at the European level - in order to constitute a European
citizenship and as a foundation for other rights and obligations
which would contribute to that citizenship.
Dahrendorf Report's verdict on a Citizen's Income is that
it "has obvious attraction ... it would allow a consolidation
of benefits for all, link them explicitly to people's status
as citizens, and thus promote social cohesion." (41)
paper has not solved the problems related to the concept
of citizenship or those related to who should and who should
not receive a Citizen's Income. It has however made some
suggestions for further study, particularly in relation
to the electoral register and to the kind of residence criterion
which currently gives entitlement to Child Benefit. It is
not its task to make a fundamental philosophical decision
about how such vital questions should be answered, but clearly
such a decision is required: Are we going to define citizenship
and then include citizens on the electoral register and
give them a Citizen's Income ? Or are we going to decide
who goes on the electoral register and who gets a Citizen's
Income (and these might or might not be the same people)
and then allow such decisions to determine the boundaries
of a citizenry ? The British constitutional tradition has
tended to follow the latter path, (42) and will probably
continue to do so - which makes the decision as to who does
and who does not receive a Citizen's Income a particularly
is a multifaceted concept, involving civil, political, social
and economic rights and duties. A Citizen's Income would
provide a good foundation for the exercise of those rights
and duties, would itself contribute to the definition of
citizenship, and would move us towards changed rights and
responsibilities more in tune with a world of rapid economic
and social change.
Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary.
2 T.H. Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class and Other
Essays (Cambridge University Press, 1950).
3 David Held, Political Theory and the Modern State
(Polity Press, 1984), see esp. 'Citizenship and Autonomy'.
4 Ibid., p.203: "The study of citizenship has
to concern itself with all those dimensions which allow
or exclude the participation of people in the communities
in which they live and the complex pattern of national and
international relations and processes which cut across them."
5 David Purdy, 'Citizenship, Basic Income and Democracy',
in BIRG Bulletin, no. 10, Autumn/Winter 1990, p.9.
6 Maurice Roche, Rethinking Citizenship: Welfare Ideology
and Change in Modern Society (Polity Press, 1992), pp.4,
16, 167. See also Bill Jordan, Marcus Redley and Simon James,
Putting the Family First: Identity. Decisions, Citizenship
(UCL Press, 1994), p.205: a conclusion (based on interviews)
that "there is ample evidence that respondents were
aware of the changes from a social democratic polity, in
which social rights to universalistic services formed one
of the main elements of common membership, to a different
kind of order, where families were required to provide more
for their own from their private resources."
7 See Anna Coote, 'Social Rights and Responsibilities',
Soundings, issue 2, Spring 1996, pp.203ff, for a
contemporary discussion of the necessity of social rights
if we are to exercise civil and political rights.
8 Since 1994, rights to Child Benefit have been restricted
for those seeking asylum. Do this and other changes mean
that Child Benefit is still a 'universal' benefit ? And
do they mean that Child Benefit remains a model for a Citizen's
9 Michael Adler, 'The habitual residence test: a critical
analysis', Journal of Social Security Law, issue
10 See lan Culpit, Welfare and Citizenship: Beyond the
Crisis of the Welfare State (SAGE, 1992), on the New
Right's attack on both the rights and the duties of the
11 Barrie Sherman and Phil Jenkins, Licensed to Work
(Cassell, 1995), p.57.
12 Ibid., pp.l56ff.
13 H. van Gunsteren, 'Notes on a Theory of Citizenship',
in P Birnbaum, J. Lively and G. Parry (eds.), Democracy,
Consensus and Social Contract (Sage, 1978).
14 Brian Barry, 'The Welfare State versus the Relief of
Poverty', in Alan Ware and Robert E. Goodin, Needs and
Welfare (Sage, 1990), ch.5.
15 Fred Twine, Citizenship and Social Rights: The Interdependence
of Self and Society (SAGE, 1994), p.97.
16 Encouraging Citizenship: Report of the Commission
on Citizenship (HMSO, 1990).
17 Ibid., p.xix.
18 Ibid., p.21.
19 Report on Wealth Creation and Social Cohesion in a
Free Society (The Commission on Wealth Creation and
Social Cohesion, 1995) (the Dahrendorf Report), p.vii.
20 Ruth Lister, in 'One step nearer to genuine citizenship:
Reflections on the Commission on Social Justice Report',
Soundings, Issue 2, Spring 1996, pp.193ff, suggests
that duties are now higher on the agenda than rights, and
that this diagnosis includes the Labour Party and the Commission
on Social Justice's report. The Commission was concerned
that a Citizen's Income is not sufficiently concerned with
duties, and that this upset the reciprocity between rights
and duties. If Lister is right, we might need to rebalance
the relationship, and a Citizen's Income might contribute
to this process.
21 Barrie Sherman and Phil Jenkins, op. cit., pp.159ff;
Maurice Roche, op. cit, pp.l78ff.
22 If we follow the Child Benefit precedent, the Citizen's
Income for the child would be paid to the mother.
23 There is now a substantial literature on various aspects
of a Citizen's Income: Further details from the Citizen's
24Maurice Roche, op. cit, pp.178ff.
25 Ibid., p. 185.
26 Godfrey Hodgson, The Electoral Register: A Squinting
Eye to Democracy (The Guardian/Charter 88, 1993).
27 In his The Common Good. Citizenship, Morality and
Self-interest (Basil Blackwell, 1989), Bill Jordan calls
for active participation in decision-making as a vital component
of the common good, and for institutions which will encourage
this. He particularly mentions a Citizen's Income as an
integrating instrument which "would include the underclass
in the same form of citizenship shared by all, and allow
them the same freedom to determine their own level of participation
and the same economic incentives as the rest" (p. 124).
It would encourage new forms of associations and new ways
of creating public goods. We would add that this would particularly
be true if receipt of a Citizen's Income encouraged inclusion
in the electoral register, for it would actively involve
people in decision-making. In this respect it would create
a virtuous spiral, as opposed to the vicious spiral generated
by the Community Charge, which had such a disastrous effect
on democratic participation.
28 In particular, the question of refugees will need to
be tackled. It is unlikely that any government would allow
those awaiting decisions on their refugee status to be entered
on the electoral register, and recent legislation has restricted
some applicants' rights to Income Support. There might well
be groups of people not on the electoral register who ought
to receive a Citizen's Income. Members of the House of Lords
and those whose refugee status is still undetermined would
be two such groups.
29 Whether there is a civil liberties dimension to be debated
is an open question. At present it is possible to choose
not to be on the electoral register, and that decision has
no implications for one's income. However, there would be
no compulsion to receive a Citizen's Income or to be on
the register, and some citizens might make this choice.
30 i.e., on Child Benefit as it is currently constituted.
See footnote no. 8 above.
31 Robert E. Goodin, Reasons for Welfare: The Political
Theory of the Welfare State (Princeton University Press,
32 Ralf Dahrendorf, 'Citizenship and Beyond: The Social
Dynamics of an Idea,' Social Research, vol.41, no.4,
33 See Michael Novak, The New Consensus on Family and
Welfare (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy
Research, 1987). This is a New Right and somewhat ideological
treatment of the subject, but there is surely some truth
in the view that where parents have more opportunity to
fulfil their obligations to their family (in terms of both
income and time available) the less the family's children
are likely to end up in poverty. Novak recommends workfare
(p.111). A Citizen's Income would have the same effect as
workfare and none of the drawbacks.
34 Brigid Reynolds, SM, and Sean Healy, SMA (eds.), New
Frontiers for Full Citizenship (Conference of Major
Religious Superiors (Ireland), 1993), p.8.
35 An uncoupling already evidenced by the advent of the
'paid volunteer' whose work lies between the normal definitions
of 'paid' and 'unpaid'. See Sarah Blacksell and David Phillips,
Paid to Volunteer: The extent of paying volunteers in
the 1990s (Volunteer Centre UK, 1994). During the 1990s
30% of the 625 voluntary groups surveyed paid some volunteers,
and 3% of volunteers were paid. The report concluded that
paying volunteers is often part of a transition to fully-paid
36 Ibid., p.69. cf. Jacques Vilrokx, 'Basic Income,
Citizenship and Solidarity: Towards a Dynamic for Social
Renewal', in Harry Coenen and Peter Leisink, (eds.), Work
and Citizenship in the New Europe (Edward Elgar, 1993).
Vilrokx takes the extreme position that full citizenship
is only possible when citizenship's link with the labour
market is completely severed. This is unnecessary. It is
quite sufficient to loosen the link so that the labour market
becomes one component of the right to income, the right
to work, and the right to social participation.
37 Fred Twine, op. cit, p. 167.
38 See David Purdy, op. cit., p. 13, on the ways
in which a Citizen's Income might change the citizenship
39 Iris Marion Young, 'Polity and Group Differences: A Critique
of the Ideal of Universal Citizenship', Ethics, vol.99,
no.2, 1989, p.251.
40 On multiple citizenship see Charles Handy, The Empty
Raincoat. Making Sense of the Future (Hutchinson, 1994),
41 Report on Wealth Creation and Social Cohesion in a
Free Society (The Commission on Wealth Creation and
Social Cohesion, 1995 - 'the Dahrendorf Report'), pp.86f.
42 See Encouraging Citizenship: Report of the Commission
on Citizenship (HMSO, 1990), Appendix D, pp.63ff, by
J.P. Gardner, on legislation relating to questions of citizenship.
The author charts an evolutionary process of some complexity,
particularly in relation to commonwealth citizenship. He
identifies a general problem relating to obscurely drafted
legislation. A Citizen's Income would be relatively simple
to legislate, and would encourage a more general simplification
of legislation relating to who is and who is not a citizen.
International Social Security Association has published
11 common objectives for adequate and sustainable pensions:
the capacity of the systems to attain their social objectives:
· Prevent social exclusion
· Maintain standards of living
· Promote solidarity
· Raise levels of employment
· Prolong active life
· Ensure sustainability of pension schemes while
maintaining healthy public finances
· Adapt benefits and contributions in a balanced
· Ensure the adequacy and financial solidarity of
private pension schemes
to changes in social needs:
· Adapt to more flexible employment schemes and careers
· Respond to the desire for greater equality between
men and women
· Prove the capacity of pension schemes to reach
ISSA's website is at www.issa.int
Pension Credit will be introduced on the 6th October
2003. It replaces the Minimum Income Guarantee, and the
government anticipates that it will provide additional income
for nearly half of all people aged 60 or over. The aim of
the credit is to encourage people to save and to build up
private and occupational pensions by not penalising savings
and pensions to the same extent as the Minimum Income Guarantee.
Pension Credit will guarantee £102.10 pw to single
people and £155.80 pw to couples between 60 and 65
years old, and more for older people. These figures will
be decreased by £1 pw for every £500 of savings
or part of £500 over £6,000. An extra credit
is payable (the 'savings credit') of 60p for each £1
of qualifying income claimants have coming in each week
between the savings credit starting-point (£77.45
for a single person and £123.80 for a couple) and
the standard amount (as above) - though this savings credit
reduces by 40p in every £1 if the claimant's total
income is above their 'appropriate amount', i.e. the standard
amount or a higher amount if they are severely disabled,
a carer, or have certain housing costs. The maximum savings
credit someone can be entitled to is £14.79 for a
single person and £19.20 for a couple.
Rummery, Disability, Citizenship and Community Care:
A Case for Welfare Rights ? Ashgate, Aldershot, 2002,
212 pp., hb, 0 7546 1757 2, £39.95.
Order this book
is true that it is difficult to get into the system to receive
community care but this book does not highlight the fact
that this varies around the country as eligibility criteria
are different depending on where you live. Once on the bottom
rung the level of support you receive again varies from
area to area and this again was not identified in the book.
book is not an easy read and did not always distinguish
between the author's thoughts, individuals' contributions
and quotes from other written material. The constant referral
to the source of material made this a rather disjointed
correct care package for the individual can be a liberating
experience allowing users, their partners, spouses or parents
to return to more conventional relationships because they
are not trying to fulfil a dual role. For me, direct payments
contribute enormously to allowing these relationships and
to restoring spontaneity to my life. So you can understand
why I was disappointed that there was not more mention and
information about direct payments until the last page or
two, especially as users may require unbiased help from
many sources to implement direct payments.
of a standard statuary care scheme are unable to participate
in mainstream life because of the level of support they
receive. As a result of this type of support the disabled
person is unable to develop full relationships or to commit
to any activity because they spend so much time waiting
for the worker to arrive.
the author states, the real drawback with the system is
the level of involvement of the user and social services
with the assessment stage. However, it is public money that
is being spent, so there has to be some control over how
the funding is used.
this book highlights some of the problems accessing the
care system, it is not helpful for those needing care, as
it is more likely to put them off trying to gain assistance
in any form. Perhaps further research into citizenship and
direct payments might be appropriate, as this is more likely
to provide choice to participate in the community.
Dibdin MBE. BSc, former Chair of Greenwich Association of
Disabled People, a Consultant in Disability Issues, and
a Wheelchair user who uses Direct Payments for support staff.
Bernabè, Informal Employment in Countries in Transition:
A conceptual framework (CASEpaper 56, Centre for Analysis
of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics, April 2002).
term 'informal sector' has been used to describe an extremely
wide spectrum of activities, making it less than useful
as a guide to policy development. This paper provides a
conceptual framework within which to analyse different types
of 'hidden' activities in order to design appropriate social,
labour market, fiscal, and other policies. The author distinguishes
between 'informal' activities (undertaken to 'meet basic
needs'), 'underground' activities (deliberately concealed
from the authorities), 'illegal' activities (generating
goods and services forbidden by the law) and 'household'
activities (producing goods and services for own-consumption).
particularly important question raised by this categorisation
of activity is whether it is possible to distinguish sufficiently
between 'informal' and 'underground' activities. Many activities,
deliberately concealed from the authorities, are undertaken
to meet basic needs. Bernabè recognises the importance
of the overlaps between the different categories (on pages
37 and 38), but this particular overlap sector should have
had a section of its own because of its size and because
it has important policy implications different from those
related to the clearly informal sector and the clearly underground
to Eastern European countries in transition, the author
concludes: "Having established a framework for analysis,
further research is now needed to assess the welfare and
income-generating potential of household, informal, underground
and illegal activities. This will help to determine which
of these 'hidden' activities should be 'formalised', eradicated,
permitted, or even encouraged. The most ambiguous of these
questions will be how to address informal activities. The
answer will largely depend on the extent to which they are
found to provide a social safety net and undermine government
revenue. It will also depend on their potential for growth
and on whether they contribute to a loss of human capital
by deskilling what is a relatively skilled and educated
labour force. Answering these questions will assist the
formulation of policies that effectively stimulate growth,
reduce poverty and strengthen public finance and the rule
next task is comparative. Trapped in Poverty? Labour-market
Decisions in Low-Income Households by Bill Jordan, Simon
James, Helen Kay and Marcus Redley (Routledge, 1992) reports
research into the informal/underground economy of an Exeter
housing estate. The discussion of the research findings
leads the authors to suggest that a Citizen's Income would
be a useful means of tackling "the particular combination
of employment casualisation and benefit system failure"
which they had found on the estate (Jordan et al, p.139).
It would be interesting to see a similar piece of work on
a community in a country in transition, and to see whether
discussion of the findings might lead to a similar conclusion.
M.A. Clark, The Basic Income Guarantee: ensuring progress
and prosperity in the 21st century, The Liffey Press, 2002,
147 pp., pb., 1 904148 07 7, np.
book is one of the outcomes of a research project carried
out by the Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI) and
the Citizen's Income Trust with the help of a research grant
from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. This book relates
to the situation in the Republic of Ireland: the other book
resulting from the project, Stumbling Towards Basic Income,
relates mainly to the UK, and is now back in print.
Clark discusses the global and Irish economic environments,
the concept of a Basic Income (an unconditional, universal
and tax-free income) and its advantages, the difficulties
of employing market forces to achieve social justice, and
the importance of non-market mechanisms for distributing
the benefits of economic progress.
of the book is an explanation and discussion of just one
possible Basic Income scheme: €43.17 per week to age
17, €109.20 per week for adults, €135.86 per week
for 65 to 79 year olds, and €142.21 per week for the
over-'80s, paid for by raising income tax to 47.14% on all
at from a British perspective, this is a bold proposal.
If instituted here it would take most individuals and families
off means-tested benefits (including tax credits) and many
families off housing and council tax benefit. It would enable
considerable numbers of families to choose that one or both
partners could be employed part-time, thus improving children's
experience of parenting; it would enable unemployed people
to take low-paying jobs and see considerable improvement
in net income; and it would enable people on low incomes
to see considerable net benefit from increases in earnings.
But it would also impose a considerable tax burden on low-earners
which would negate some of these effects.
book continues with useful chapters on the improvements
in economic competitiveness which would follow from the
establishment of a Basic Income, on the greater flexibility
a Basic Income would offer to the labour market, and on
the redistributional effects.
chapter follows on alternatives, such as a participation
income, or a lower Basic Income. These are dismissed because
they would not offer the benefits which the scheme discussed
would offer. And such funding options as an environmental
tax, a property and wealth tax, a Tobin tax (on currency
speculation) and a BIT tax (on electronic information traffic)
are discussed - but not a progressive income tax, which
seems rather odd.
final chapter compares CORI's criteria for a just benefits
system (adequacy, guaranteed, eliminating poverty traps,
etc.) with the goals of Ireland's National Economic and
Social Council, and a good fit is found between them. A
final section argues that Ireland can afford a Basic Income
and that the effects would be advantageous.
We shall watch developments with interest.
A. Cowell (ed.), The Economics of Poverty and Inequality,
Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2003, 2 volumes, 1360 pp, hb,
1 84064 567 9, £340. Order
magnificent collection is a must for every welfare economics
and general economics library - it's only a pity that its
price puts it out of reach of students of the economics
of poverty and inequality.
The first volume opens with the editor's introduction on
"the elements of the modern approach to inequality
and poverty measurement [which] involves the definition
of an income concept, an ethical or other basis for distributional
comparisons and a set of assumptions or axioms which give
meaning to an ordering or ranking principle" (p.xiii).
The introduction is a model of clarity (as are the editor's
lectures, which this reviewer once experienced), though
a discussion of the meaning of 'welfare' would have been
welcome, and a discussion of whether or not welfare can
in principle be calculated would have been equally welcome.
The paragraphs on 'welfare and inequality rankings' correctly
recognise the diversity of possible meanings of 'welfare'
- and in volume II Deaton and Muellbauer's paper 'On Measuring
Child Costs' (vol. II, pp.317-341) recognises one particular
difficulty with the concept of welfare:
measures in this paper tell us about the effects of children
on adult welfare, but they do not tell us about the welfare
levels of the children themselves. Indeed, we doubt that
household expenditure data in anything like their traditional
form can tell us very much about the relative welfare levels
of adults and children. One possible assumption is that
everyone in the household shares the same welfare level,
and this would enable comparisons of welfare or inequality
with individuals as the basis of analysis. However, there
are cases in which such an assumption would be clearly inappropriate,
for example, in societies in which women and children are
treated as the chattels of a dominant male. In such a society,
it might be argued that only adults or only males should
count in analysing welfare" (vol. II, p.339).
definitions of poverty rely on definitions of welfare, so
to develop a robust definition of welfare is an essential
task, and one to which the publisher might one day devote
papers in this collection are divided into sections. In
volume I: the welfare basis of distributional analysis,
welfare and inequality rankings, inequality measurement,
inequality - welfare approach, inequality - structure, multidimensional
approaches, polarization, and horizontal equity. In volume
II come sections on the poverty concept and the poverty
line, on poverty measures, on poverty axioms and rankings,
on welfare, inequality and needs, on relative deprivation,
on progressivity, on dynamics (i.e., on entering and exiting
poverty), on functional forms of income and wealth distribution,
and on statistical issues.
There are historically important papers (such as Lorenz's
1905 'Methods of Measuring the Concentrations of Wealth'
with its characteristic curves), numerous papers and chapters
from 1970 onwards, and a few recent pieces (such as Vallentyne's
'Equality, Efficiency and the Priority of the Worse-off').
is of course impossible to comment in detail in a short
review such as this on the seventy-one papers included in
these two volumes, except to say that they seem to this
reviewer to address the important issues and to be precisely
the kind of papers which a student of welfare economics
will require. There is a name index, but not a subject index,
which is a pity, as these two volumes will be a valuable
resource for both students and their teachers and a subject
index would have made the collection more usable.
congratulations to Professor Tony Atkinson on having the
longest total index entry.
Citizen's Income Trust 2003