FOI reference: FOI/17/02092
Date received: 17 September 2017
Date responded: 16 October 2017
Information on 'any policy work undertaken by the Scottish Government into universal basic income and any correspondence with the Scottish Greens and the Common Weal on this.'
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance some information has been redacted from the enclosed Ministerial briefing on Citizens Basic Income because an exemption under section 29(1)(a) (policy formulation), of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the formulation of the Scottish Government's policy on citizens basic income.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on universal basic income will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government's view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House