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Will all Scots get free money from Nicola Sturgeon? What is a universal basic income and how is it funded? 

In a speech delivered by Nicola Sturgeon to the Scottish Parliament, she called for research into the plausibility of a “citizens' basic income” for all Scots. But what are these universal payments, and how do they work?
What is a Universal Basic Income?
A universal basic income (UBI) is a type of welfare paid by the state to all citizens, rich or poor, working or not. The unemployed are paid it even if they are not seeking work.
Why are we talking about it now?
The idea has been cropping up around the world: it’s being piloted in Finland and last year and it was part of the UK Green Party’s 2017 manifesto. The concept is becoming more popular as the age of automation comes ever closer: supporters think that a UBI could help the 10 million jobs could be taken by robots in the next 15 years. And now, it seems, Ms Sturgeon is sweet on the notion. 
Will all Scots get free money from Nicola Sturgeon? What is a universal basic income and how is it funded? 

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish first minister
How would it work?
There are multiple different proposals. In the scheme being tested in Finland, participants are being paid around 560 euros (?512) a month, which they are free to spend on whatever they like. They do not have to do anything in return to receive the money.
Could Scotland afford it?
Some argue that a simple welfare system like a UBI could cut down on the office costs of having multiple streams of benefit income. However, that would be a drop in the ocean compared to the overall cost. To pay just ?8,000 a year to every person over 16 in the UK, which would not be enough for many to live on, would cost around ?425 billion.
This is roughly equivalent to the entire current spend for the NHS, education, the police, defence, housing, transport and the interest on the national debt.
Nicola Sturgeon has so far not shed any light on how the scheme might be funded.
Profile | Nicola Sturgeon
Would everyone get the same amount?
In most UBI proposals, every citizen would get the same amount. Opponents say this is one of its downfalls: it would give 20-year olds living with their parents ample pocket money, while leaving a single parent of three struggling to make ends meet.
Why would anyone bother to work if they got paid for doing nothing?
There are few studies that show the long-term effects of a UBI. One study conducted 1974-9 in Canada found that households paid a UBI didn’t stop working altogether, but reduced their hours by around 13pc, dedicating more time on average to work in the home and looking after children.
More teenagers forgoed part-time work, spending more time studying and reducing school drop-out rates.
Why are some people rejecting the possibility of getting free money?
Besides the enormous cost and incentive to idleness, critics point out that the universality is a key flaw. Paying an income to the rich, only to take it away again in tax creates a lot more administrative work and cost.
To pay for it, the tax rate would have to be raised significantly, taking money back from those who need it. A significant intervention in the labour market like this would also skew supply and demand, making some jobs hard to fill.
About | The Barnett Formula
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