Are We On Step Closer to Universal Basic Income?
UBI or Universal Basic Income, is something that has been around and considered in various forms for a few years now. Many feel it will end poverty in its current form, and raise the standard of living for many. However, it is not without its faults.
So what is UBI and how does it work?
Universal Basic Income is just what it says it is, a guaranteed universal income for all. A monthly “wage” if you wish, paid to all who live in the country, city or town that has set this plan up.
Everyone regardless of if they work or not receives a monthly amount of money. If the UBI is set at £4800 a year, then each person receives £400 a month, tax free, and again regardless of if they are working or not.
For those that are working, the extra money may be something they use to save, or to be able to raise their lifestyle, like having a new car, or a more expensive place to live.
For those who are not working, UBI will add to or replace certain benefits to also make a difference in that person’s living or lifestyle.
It is free money given to everyone, although some have proposed this free money to be given to those age 55 or younger, or to those who meet a certain criteria.
However you look at it, UBI in its simplest form is just a set amount of money given to all.
It is easy to see the benefits of this, the economy will be boosted as many of us will spend the extra cash we get each month. Injecting the money into the economy benefits us all.
But what about the downsides of UBI?
Does it reinforce those who are not working to continue not working. Many argue it does. There is no incentive to work if you know you are going to get free money each month.
The fine line here is that UBI is not really enough to live on, so one would still need to work, or receive certain benefits.
Universal Basic Income is not new or something just being looked into here in the UK. Countries around the world have looked into this, and some have begun pilot programmes to see how it will work out, and to iron out any wrinkles in the plan.
Here in the UK, we may be one step closer to UBI as the city of Liverpool is being looked at as a possible city to pioneer this radical approach.
One of Liverpool’s Councillors, Ann O’Byrne, is a proponent of this new plan, and has stated,“Last year Myself and Cllr Patrick Hurley submitted a council motion calling on Government to introduce a Universal Basic Income. Also calling on shadow chancellor John McDonnell to include Liverpool in any UBI pilot proposals.”
“We met with John at the launch of the UBI report in London and proposed Liverpool as one of the pilot areas and were delighted when this was announced a few days later.”
“When we win the next General election the Labour Finance team will begin to roll out the pilot areas.”
She adds, “It’s so clear how transformational UBI will be. By providing a safety net to every person this would reduce inequality and poverty, reduce stress and anxiety, it would enhance economic security, enable families to plan for their future, it would also dramatically reduce the number of people on means tested benefits”
“As a feminist, this would transform the lives of so many women. There are more women than men in very low paid, insecure work, often doing more than one job to keep their families going”
“This safety net would enable women the security of finding more secure work without the fear of destitution. It also allows people setting up small businesses, social enterprises and cooperatives, the majority of whom are women in Liverpool the chance to grow and develop their enterprises without having to take on other jobs just to live.”
“I am really excited about this opportunity for Liverpool to show the rest of the country how successful UBI can be for our citizens and for the economy, ahead of this being rolled out nationwide”
Not much has been said about how the project will be funded, or if any taxes would change or be increased.
So for now nothing is moving forward, but we may be one step closer to UBI in the future.