An examination of the ideological perspectives on the citizen's income debate
Fitzpatrick, Anthony Paul
Though it is not at the centre of political attention, Citizen's Income (CI) receives the kind of widespread ideological support which most other proposals in the areas of labour market and social security reform do not. Given the breadth of such support, the objective of this research is to improve our understanding of why various ideologies get involved in the CI debate, and of how their differing contributions to that debate produce ideological variants of CI.Chapter 1 introduces us both to the debate and to this thesis, while chapter 2 outlines the principal ideologies with which the thesis deals. Chapters 3 to 5 then address those subjects - citizenship, work, full employment - which are at the heart of disagreements over benefit reform, since it is here that ideological distinctions relevant to the welfare state begin to be made. This approach allows us to formulate those principles which our varying ideologies would have a CI serve. Chapter 6 then examines Negative Income Tax as that form of CI most likely to be supported by economic liberals. Chapter 7 analyses why social democrats are attracted to the principle of social insurance, and why this might lead them to support a combination of CI and insurance benefits, i.e. a Participation Income. Chapter 8 looks at the importance of a social dividend to any market socialist strategy, and chapters 9 and 10 examine, respectively, ecological and feminist justifications for CI.In the concluding chapter, I argue that the widespread ideological support for CI is largely of a negative kind, i.e. a series of distinct but complementary reactions to the failures of non- integrated tax and benefit systems. Should CI enter the mainstream of policy -making debates then this consensus might well break down, since disagreements over the generosity and the (un)conditionality of any CI would inevitably become more important.