The Neoliberal Danger of Basic Income

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 1494 .... October 9, 2017

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) has drawn up the following statement on basic income (BI). It makes the case that, progressive hopes to the contrary notwithstanding, BI is being developed as a measure of neoliberal attack that should be opposed. We invite progressive organizations and individuals who hold positions in agencies and academic institutions, who agree with our arguments, to sign onto the statement. We hope that it will raise a voice of opposition and help develop information sharing and forms of co-operation among those, internationally, who reject the notion that basic income represents any kind of realistic response to the neoliberal attack.

Endorsements and other responses can be directed to OCAP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Neoliberal Danger of Basic Income

We, the undersigned, are convinced... that the emerging model of basic income, reflected in pilot projects and other initiatives in a number of countries and jurisdictions, is one that would intensify the neoliberal agenda. The hope that there is any realistic chance of ensuring a truly adequate, universal payment, that isn’t financed by undermining other vital elements of social provision, is misplaced in our view.

We are far from wanting to suggest that existing systems of income support are anywhere close to adequate. They provide precarious sub-poverty income under conditions that are marked by intrusive regulations and forms of moral policing. Moreover, decades of neoliberal austerity have made these systems considerably worse.

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