A Universal Income is an income that is paid to everybody unconditionally, without means testing or work requirement. It is also known as a Citizen’s Income (citizenincome.org) a Citizen Dividend or a Basic Income. It is similar to the UK’s Child Benefit or Basic State Pension, but is paid to people of all ages.
There is a growing interest globally in a Universal (Basic) Income. In low-consumption economies, funded by charitable contributions, it has a dramatic beneficial impact on earned income, new business formation, childhood under-nutrition and participation in education and health care (see Report the Basic Income Project in Namibia, 2009, Namibia NGO Forum).
In several high-consumption economies, funded from the replacement of out-of-work benefits and general taxation, a Universal Income is also being trialled (see Overview of Basic Income Experiments, 2017, basicincome.org). It is anticipated that it will increase participation in work by removing the unemployment and poverty traps that are built in to conventional conditional benefit systems (Universal Basic Incomes, The Economist).