Theme: Political Economy | Content Type: Journal article

A Social Guarantee to Meet Everyone's Needs within Environmental Limits

Anna Coote


Micheile Henderson

| 1 min read

The Social Guarantee is part of the everyday economy and contributes a distinctive, normative approach. It maintains that the primary purpose of the economy is to meet everyone's needs within the limits of the natural environment. It offers a principled framework for policy and practice to address three interlinked crises that are all rooted in a failed economic system: soaring living costs, widening inequalities and the climate emergency. The starting point is that everyone should have a sufficient income. Crucially, this is derived not only from wages and cash transfers, but also from publicly funded services, infrastructure and other collective measures that constitute in-kind benefits. These make a substantial contribution to living standards, they are highly redistributive and they are far more ecologically sustainable than aggregated market transactions. It is time to reassert the collective ideal and put in-kind benefits at the heart of Labour's programme.

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Volume 94, Issue 3

Latest Journal

Volume 94, Issue 3

Includes a commentary by Colin Crouch on the dark heart of today's Conservative party, an article by Stewart Lansley tracing the history of ‘crowding out’, and its use as a justification for austerity and state deflation; and Tim Vlandas and Kate Alexander-Shaw debating the political economy of age. In our reports and surveys section, Deborah Mabbett asks where next for curbing London's emissions? The issue also includes a selection of book reviews such as Andrew Gamble on The Culture of Accountability: A Democratic Virtue by Gianfranco Pasquino and Riccardo Pelizzo, and Leila Simona Talani on Europe's Coming of Age by Loukas Tsoukalis.

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