Beveridge Rebooted: a basic income for every citizen?

Hosted by LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building


Professor John Kay

Professor John Kay

Professor Philippe Van Parijs

Professor Philippe Van Parijs

Dr Malcolm Torry

Dr Malcolm Torry

Polly Toynbee

Polly Toynbee


Dr Enkeleida Tahiraj

Dr Enkeleida Tahiraj

Discussion of a Basic Income – an unconditional, nonwithdrawable income for every individual (and sometimes called a Citizen’s Income, a Citizen’s Basic Income, or a Universal Basic Income) – is now a mainstream global social policy debate.

This event will bring together key figures on different sides of that debate – Professor Philippe Van Parijs from the University of Louvain, and Professor John Kay of the University of Oxford – to debate the motion: ‘This house believes that if the Beveridge Report were being written today then it would have recommended a Basic Income’. Before they speak, Dr Malcolm Torry, a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE, and Director of the Citizen’s Basic Income Trust, will briefly define a Basic Income; and at the end of the debate the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee will offer her reflections on the event and on the wider debate about Basic Income. 

John Kay (@ProfJohnKay) is an economist whose career has spanned the academic world, business and finance, and public affairs. He has held chairs at the London Business School, the University of Oxford, and LSE, and is a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, where he began his academic career in 1970. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. John is a director of several public companies and a contributing editor of the Financial Times. He chaired the Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision-Making which reported to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in July 2012. He is the author of many books, including The Truth about Markets (2003), The Long and the Short of It (2009, new revised edition 2016) and Obliquity (2010). His latest book, Other People’s Money – towards a financial system for the needs of the economy rather than financial market participants – was published by Profile Books in September 2015, and was a book of the year for Bloomberg, The Economist and the Financial Times, winner of the Saltire Literary Prize for non-fiction, and was short-listed for the Orwell Prize for political writing. 

Philippe Van Parijs (@pvpbrussels) is a special guest professor at the Universities of Louvain and Leuven, a Robert Schuman Fellow at the European University Institute and an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford. He was the founding director of Louvain’s Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics from 1991 to 2016, and a regular visiting professor at Harvard University from 2004 to 2010 and at the University of Oxford from 2011 to 2015. He is a member of Belgium’s Royal Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is one of the founders of the Basic Income Earth Network and chairs its International Board. His books include Real Freedom for All. What (if anything) can justify capitalism? (Oxford U.P. 1995), What’s Wrong with a Free Lunch? (Beacon Press, 2001), Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World (Oxford U.P. 2011), Just Democracy. The Rawls-Machiavelli Programme (ECPR 2011), and Basic Income. A radical proposal for a free society and a sane economy (Harvard U.P. 2017, with Y. Vanderborght).

Malcolm Torry (@Citizensincome) has been Director of the Citizen's Basic Income Trust since 2001 (and was Director before that between 1988 and 1992); he is a Visiting Senior Fellow in the Social Policy Department at LSE; and he is General Manager of BIEN, The Basic Income Earth Network. He is the author of Money for Everyone: Why we need a Citizen’s Income (Policy Press, 2013: an almost completely rewritten new edition, with a new title, will be published in 2018), 101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income: Arguments for giving everyone some money (Policy Press, 2015), and The Feasibility of Citizen’s Income (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Malcolm is a priest in the Church of England, and from 1980 to 2014 served in full-time posts in South London parishes. He has written extensively on the characteristics and management of religious and faith-based organisations.

Polly Toynbee (@pollytoynbee) is a columnist for The Guardian. She was formerly BBC social affairs editor, columnist and associate editor of The Independent, co-editor of the Washington Monthly and a reporter and feature writer for The Observer. Her new book, Dismembered: How the attack on the state harms us all, co-authored by David Walker, is out now.

Enkeleida Tahiraj (@edatahiraj) is Senior Visiting Fellow at LSEE European Institute at LSE, researching rights based social policies and policy innovation. Her current research and teaching involves Universal Basic Income pilot projects.

This event follows on from the Citizen's Basic Income Day at LSE, a day of discussions bringing together experts and speakers from pilot projects and experiements around the world.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEBeveridge #LSEFestival 

This event is part of the LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0 running from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 February 2018, with a series of events rethinking the welfare state for the 21st century and the global context.

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