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Getting the economy going with new ideas

  • by JW

The idea of a Basic Universal Income paid to all citizens is rapidly gaining new traction.

In Scotland, employers are being encouraged to introduce flexible working, staggered start times and four-day weeks as part of a phased return to work.


There have been all sorts of socio-economic ramifications coming out of the current coronavirus crisis:

Redesigning where and how we work – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Redesigning where and how council employees work – Vision Group for Sidmouth



Including the resurgence of the idea of the ‘UBI’:

Minimum Income Guarantee – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Universal Basic Income – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Universal Basic Income: Alaska – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Universal Basic Income: Spain in a time of crisis – Vision Group for Sidmouth


The New Economics Foundation has been pushing for this:

The Minimum Income Guarantee – a safety net for all | New Economics Foundation


And now Spain has introduced it at a time of real crisis:

Spain brings in basic income scheme to deal with coroanvirus outbreak – Business Insider

Raising the floor – Spain’s embattled government proposes a new anti-poverty scheme | Europe | The Economist


Once a radical idea, universal basic income is gaining support

As the Covid-19 pandemic sinks economies around the world and leads to record rates of unemployment, some politicians and analysts are revisiting the idea of a universal income. Spain on Friday introduced a basic income for the poor – a version of a universal basic income that could see the concept gaining ground.

In the face of a global economic crisis induced by the novel coronavirus, the idea of a basic income paid to all citizens is rapidly gaining new traction…

Once a radical idea, universal basic income is gaining support


And there’s a lot of debate going on now:

Support for Universal Basic Income growing as economies look to recover from coronavirus devastation

Is a Universal Basic Income Program Worth the Costs? –



With people working from home and not necessarily wanting to get on a crowded bus or train, there have been real changes in the pattern of work taking place:

The working from home revolution – Vision Group for Sidmouth

A permanent shift towards home working… – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Decentralization and technology-enabled home working – Vision Group for Sidmouth


And one way of dealing with all of this is the idea of a shorter working week which is breaking out everywhere:

Jacinda Ardern urges employers to move to a four day week to help boost tourism amid coronavirus | Daily Mail Online

Could a 4-day week help economies recover from the pandemic? | World Economic Forum

Support for four-day workweek soars amid coronavirus crisis | New York Post

COVID-19 lockdown could spur adoption of four-day week | Arab News

Idea of four-day work week rekindled because of pandemic |



Including the UK:

Shorter working week newsletter 5 | New Economics Foundation

Four-day week could be answer to getting UK back to work | Metro News


As covered in the Express this week:


Could a four-day working week be implemented in the UK?

The concept of a four-day working week has been popularised across the Western world in the past few years. It has been gaining traction with Labour and social democratic parties in particular.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has warned the UK is facing a “severe recession, the likes of which we have never seen” as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Mr Sunak has now extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to October. However, it will only run in its current format until the end of July. After which, the Chancellor said he will be asking workers to return part-time and requesting companies to foot a portion of the employee’s salary payment.

This week, the Treasury revealed more than £11.1 billion has thus far been claimed through the furlough scheme. More than £22bn more has been spent on businesses in the form of Government-backed loans to help them through the crisis.

Several businesses across the UK already voluntarily operate four-day working weeks, but the concept has not been enshrined in law or backed by the Government.

However, the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today said employers would be encouraged to introduce flexible working, staggered start times and four day weeks as part of a phased return to work.

4 day work week: Could UK introduce 4 day work week? |