Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group: invitation for views - August 2021 meeting paper

An invitation for views on the Minimum Income Guarantee from the Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group.

What is a Minimum Income Guarantee?

A Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) is an assurance that no one will fall below a set income level that would allow them to live a dignified life. A MIG can be delivered through employment, targeted welfare payments and also through other types of support or services to be provided or subsidised by the state.

A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in March 2021 proposes that Scotland should have a MIG by 2030. The report put forward three features of a MIG:

  • a MIG would apply to everyone in Scotland, delivered through a targeted payment and other forms of support
  • a MIG should aim to bring about a minimum standard of living for everyone, recognising different needs
  • a MIG should reduce poverty, inequality and insecurity, as a payment people can rely on

Although related, a Universal Basic Income (UBI) and a Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) are different. A MIG will make sure nobody falls below a Minimum Income Standard. The MIG is targeted at those on low incomes, and includes other forms of support, beyond cash payments. The UBI is different because it is for everyone, even if they are not on a low income.

What is the Scottish Government doing to deliver a MIG?

The Scottish Government is committed to commencing work in the current Parliament to provide a MIG for all, incorporating the idea of basic services, such as childcare or the NHS.

The Scottish Government has set up a MIG Steering Group, made up of experts and MSPs from different parties, to work on the delivery of a MIG in Scotland. The group will consider steps towards a MIG using existing powers held by the Scottish Parliament.

What will the Scottish Government do with my response?

Your ideas and comments from this dialogue will be shared with Scottish Government and the MIG Steering Group to inform how the MIG should be taken forward. There will be opportunities for further stakeholder engagement on MIG as the work of the Steering Group progresses, including with the public and with people with lived experience.

Please add ideas to the dialogue below. We are particularly interested to hear your ideas on the following:

1. What do you see as being the key elements of a Minimum Income Guarantee?

2. What do you see as the main benefits, challenges and risks of a Minimum Income Guarantee in Scotland?

3. Are there certain groups of people that you think should be given particular attention when thinking about how a Minimum Income Guarantee in Scotland should work?

4. What steps should we take first to deliver the Minimum Income Guarantee in Scotland? You may wish to think about public services, employment and employers, and social security.

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