November 22, 2020
From Alternative Bristol (UK)

Will Bristol become host to a Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilot project? A group in Bristol, UBI Lab Bristol are keen to see it trailed here;

The arguments for a Universal Basic Income range from supporting basic human dignity, to preparing the economy for the large scale automation of jobs. With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing Governments globally to develop creative policies for tackling the spread of the virus whilst minimising the economic impacts of doing so, we believe that Universal Basic Income is an idea whose time has come.

At a time of pandemic when so many people have lost income in so many ways, giving people the basic safety-net of UBI certainly seems worth a look. Most recently there was a UBI experiment in Finland;

[The scheme] also encouraged some participants to get more involved in society, by undertaking voluntary work, for example. “Some found the guaranteed income increased the possibility for them to do things like providing informal care for their family or their neighbours,” said one of the researchers, Christian Kroll. “The security of the basic income allowed them to do more meaningful things, as they felt it legitimised this kind of care work. Many of the people who performed such unpaid activities during the two-year period referred to it as work.”

There’s a global round-up of UBI schemes here. If UBI – that guaranteed basic income – also saw the end of the private companies profiting from the misery of running benefits schemes, that would also be a win.

If you want to see Bristol take part in a UBI scheme, here’s how you can help make that happen.