BIGA Historical Items

BIGA’S HISTORICAL ITEMS page holds a wide collection of early articles written for the Basic Income debate, much of it having an Australian focus. The page is therefore under constant construction as more early material comes to hand.

A selection of early Basic Income literature has been catalogued here and may be browsed under Basic Income Authors from A-Z. (All items are downloadable / printable).

Also included in the BIGA historical items section is a collection of Historical Articles and Notes that relate to Basic Income issues around the debate, which can be browsed and downloaded.

The BIGA site also has an Historical (Archive) Section listing early articles on Basic Income that are downloadable.

The idea of a Basic Income is not new. Van Trier (1995) noted that in 1920 Dennis Milner published what is believed to be the first British book on the idea of a Basic Income, which Milner called Minimum Income, and it was largely ignored. Milner (1920) called for a minimum income to apply to all citizens, man, woman and child, without conditions or deductions (p.19) and his arguments, which he called ‘a business proposition’ are remarkably similar to those used today, eighty odd years later (Tomlinson, 2000). Milner noted in his preface that he had chosen intentionally to eliminate ‘all speculations on justice and ethics’ so as to leave his proposal uncluttered and simple (Milner, 1920, p.6). Thus right from the conception of a Basic Income, there has been some lack of discussion of the ethical issues.

BIGA has reproduced the Milner Book in it entirety on this page. The 1920 book was entitled Higher Production by a Bonus on National Output. A Proposal for a Minimum Income for All varying with National Income (PDF, 1MB).

John Tomlinson has written a short article on this early Milner period entitled ‘A Most Neglected Movement’ (PDF, 21KB).

‘An Australian History of Basic Income’ (PDF, 23KB) is a short article relating to the Australian Basic Income story.

Continuing our Australian focus, this is a delightful image of one of Brisbane's Sandgate Beach sunsets

Photo of sunset over Sandgate Beach
Photo courtesy of Jim Hansen.

Some early Australian and New Zealand material, particularly from the OASIS-Australia site is posted. The Organisation Advocating Support Income Studies in Australia, Oasis-Australia was produced from February 1989 until November, 2002 by Allan McDonald. The available copies of the Oasis Newsletter are on the Archive list button.

Contact BIGA

Phone: 07 3138 4612
From overseas: + 61 7 3138 4612
Fax: 07 3138 0296
From overseas: + 61 7 3138 0296

Email: or directly contact BIGA’s web site administrator Greg Marston.