Basic Income on BBC Newshour Extra


Basic Income was the focus of the March 5 episode of BBC’s Newshour Extra, a weekly podcast hosted by British journalist Owen Bennett Jones.

The episode, entitled “Money For Nothing?”, features a distinguished panel of four experts on the topic: Guy Standing, professor at the University of London and founder of the Basic Income Earth Network; Rutger Bregman, Dutch reporter and author on Basic Income; Francine Mestrum, consultant and researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles; and Linda Yueh, former BBC correspondent and current professor of economics at Oxford and the London Business School.

During the panel discussion, Bregman and Standing deliver arguments for a universal basic income (UBI), while Mestrum and Yueh pose critical questions. For example, Mestrum charges that, due to its universality, a UBI would perpetuate inequality rather than promote equality, and Yueh broaches the practical issue of whether a UBI is affordable. This leads to valuable exchanges concerning the financing of a UBI, as well as the question of whether a UBI would replace the welfare state or supplement it – with Standing and Bregman defending the affordability and effectiveness of a UBI.

Other topics of discussion include the recent BI initiatives in Finland and Canada, automation, and the nature of work. The broadcast ends on what seems to be a point of agreement between the four panelists: people are motivated to contribute usefully to society, whether or not they rely on a job for money; thus, if there is any worry about a Basic Income, it is not that it would undermine the incentive to work.

Listen to the entire 50 minute episode here:

BBC World Service, “Money for Nothing?”, Newshour Extra, May 5 2016

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 114 articles.

Kate obtained a masters degree in statistics and a PhD in philosophy (both from the Ohio State University), and has since been living life as a proud member of the precariat. At present, she works 1/4-time in Ohio State's philosophy department, and devotes the remaining 3/4-time (or more!) to the basic income movement. She is the first Basic Income News editor to take the BIG Patreon Creator Pledge and dreams of eventually full-timing it in basic income advocacy. To support Kate in her work for Basic Income News and other BIG projects, click the link above!


  • Christopher Eddie

    People are motivated to contribute usefully to society, whether or not they rely on a job for money. Therefore #BasicIncome would enable people to become productive citizens rather than profit vs loss making work units..

  • Tony Ängeslevä

    Great progress!

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