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LSE academics to take part in BIEN congress

Two professors from LSE's Social Policy Department will join the twelfth Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) congress, taking place in Ireland this week.

Professor Peter Townsend professor of international social policy and visiting Professor John Macnicol, will present papers in the two day conference themed Inequality and Development in a Globalised Economy - The Basic Income Option and held at University College Dublin.

With his paper The history and politics of the citizen's pension, Professor Macnicol will discuss the idea of a citizen's pension for Britain.

He explains: 'I will be talking about the history and current prospects for a citizen's pension in the UK - a universal, tax-funded, non-contributory pension with no means tests, to replace the existing system, which has delivered one of the worst relative pension values in Europe.

'Interestingly, 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Old Age Pensions Act in the UK, which introduced such a scheme.'

Professor Townsend will be developing recommendations for the establishment of a UN Investment Fund for Children, based on a new international currency transfer tax. The Fund is designed to match national revenue for universal child benefit in low-income countries to dramatically reduce child poverty.

This follows his report on the abolition of child poverty and the right to social security - launched in parliament at the end of April, and the presentation of this report at the African Child Poverty Forum in Ethiopia in May.

BIEN serves as a link between individuals and groups committed to or interested in basic income and fosters informed discussion on this topic throughout the world.

16 June 2008

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