Skip to Content

GCPH Seminar Series 16: Lecture 2 - Anna Coote

4 Feb 2020

The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU, United Kingdom


The case for universal basic services

The idea that healthcare and education should be provided as universal public services to all who need them is widely accepted. But why leave it there? Why not expand it to more of life’s essentials? Anna Coote argues that this transformational new policy – Universal Basic Services (UBS) – is what we need to save our societies and our planet.

Anna maintains that the old argument that free markets and individual choice are the best way to solve pressing problems of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation has led us to catastrophe, and must be abandoned. She argues that expanding the principle of collective universal service provision to everyday essentials such as care, housing and transport is the best way to tackle many of the biggest problems facing the contemporary world. She makes the case that it is equitable, efficient, sustainable and builds solidarity. For all these reasons and more, Anna argues, UBS offers a progressive, practical and affordable alternative to dependence on cash transfers and market transactions.

In her new book 'The case for universal services' co-authored with Andrew Percy, the case for UBS is set out in detail: what it means, why it matters and how it can be achieved in practice.


About the speaker

Anna Coote, Principal Fellow, New Economics Foundation

Anna Coote is Principal Fellow at the New Economics Foundation (NEF). A leading analyst, writer and advocate in the field of social policy, she has written widely on social justice, sustainable development, working time, public health policy, public involvement and democratic dialogue, gender and equality. Her other recent publications include Universal Basic Services: Theory and Practice (IGP: 2019); Universal Basic Income: A Union Perspective (PSI: 2019).

Back to