The Ethical Deficit of the United Kingdom's Proposed Universal Credit: Pimping the Precariat?
Article first published online: 13 MAR 2012
© The Author 2012. The Political Quarterly © The Political Quarterly Publishing Co. Ltd. 2012
The Political Quarterly
Volume 83, Issue 2, pages 353–359, April-June 2012
How to Cite
DEAN, H. (2012), The Ethical Deficit of the United Kingdom's Proposed Universal Credit: Pimping the Precariat?. The Political Quarterly, 83: 353–359. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-923X.2012.02292.x
- Issue published online: 13 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 13 MAR 2012
- Universal Credit;
- wage top-ups;
- labour market;
- decent work;
Universal Credit is a proposed means-tested cash benefit scheme in the UK that will serve, inter alia, to top-up the wages of low-paid workers. This article will argue first, that the moral justification for the scheme that is offered by the UK government is specious; second that the reconfiguration of existing wage top-ups may be counterproductive and will in any event do little, if anything, to promote the work ethic; third, that the new scheme will not relieve but add to the injustices borne by the ‘precariat’ (the workers engaged in low-paid precarious employment); finally, that far from having a justifiable moral purpose, Universal Credit is ethically flawed.