A Citizen’s Income, in the UK and Food Safety

Navigation: Home   Comment   Education   Videos 
A citizen’s income, in the UK, could help to maintain food safety in the home
This page argues that a citizen’s or basic income could provide a solution to recent problems associated with poverty and food safety.


The food poverty context and its affect on safety


Common cases of food poisoning could have increased since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008.  Poverty could be leading to people eating ‘out of date’ food.  If people’s incomes fall then they will have less money to spend on food.  This could encourage them to keep food for longer than they should. The UK Food Standards Agency has acknowledged that people are taking risks with food and are ignoring ‘use by’ dates.  Another concern is that expenditure on food consumption could be reduced given that it can be squeezed by rising utility bills.  These are fixed and cannot be reduced easily in the way that food spending can.  Food safety messages, urging consumers not to economise on food safety, may be overlooked given the poverty which people are suffering. 


A citizen’s income


Communication, on the need to eat food within use by dates, will only be acted upon if people have a sufficient income.  A ‘citizen’s income’ could help make sure that people do have adequate funds.  This should be enough so that the public are not eating ‘out of date’ food.  Economic policy needs to make sure that each member of the public has an adequate income so that they can eat properly. This includes enough money to buy sufficient fruit and vegetables.  The video below provides further justification for a citizen’s income.




If people have adequate funding then food safety advice, from the Food Standards Agency, is likely to be put into practice.  The achievement of food safety objectives is beyond the scope of the Food Standards Agency.  Intervention from the Treasury is needed so that people have a basic income.


Video: Why the precariat requires a basic income


Guy Standing (Bath University) argues that people in precarious (and lowly paid) employment need a basic income. 

YouTube Video