06 June 2023

A proposed trial program involving thirty people in the UK, could receive universal basic income (UBI) which is a sum of ​​£1600 a month. The scheme intends to run for two years and participants will be monitored to see what effect it has on mental and physical health.

Participants will be paid a lump sum without conditions each month, for two years and will be observed to understand the effects on their lives. Central Jarrow, in North-East England and East Finchley, in North London have been selected for the micro pilot scheme.

Researchers from think tank Autonomy are seeking financial backing. There have been a mixture of opinions on the trial, where some feel that the schemes can simplify the welfare system and tackle poverty. On the other hand, some feel that it would be extremely costly, would divert funding away from public services and not necessarily help to alleviate poverty.

Cleo Goodman, Co-Founder of Basic Income Conversation, said:

“We’re hopeful that this plan will result in the first ever Basic Income pilots in England.

No one should ever be facing poverty, having to choose between heating and eating, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Basic income has the potential to simplify the welfare system and tackle poverty in Britain.”

Will Stronge, Director of Research at Autonomy, said:

“A guaranteed Basic Income could be transformative for welfare in this country.

All the evidence shows that it would directly alleviate poverty and boost millions of people’s wellbeing: the potential benefits are just too large to ignore.

With the decades ahead set to be full of economic shocks due to climate change and new forms of automation, basic income is going to be a crucial part of securing livelihoods in the future.”

Similar pilots are already ongoing in other countries. Last year, the Welsh government announced a £20 million experiment offering a UBI to young people leaving care. Around 500 18-year-olds were paid £19,200 a year before tax. The outcomes are due to be reported after the trial finishes.

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