News; News & Events

UK’s Largest Trade Union Endorses Basic Income

Unite, Britain’s largest trade union, passed a motion endorsing basic income at the Unite 2016 Policy Conference on Monday, July 11.  

The full text of the motion is as follows (with links to relevant reports added by the editor):

Basic Income

Conference notes the growing crisis of low pay, in work poverty and precarity in a labour market increasingly characterised by casualised forms of employment that offer low pay, zero hours contracts and no long-term security.

Conference further notes the evident inability of our bureaucratically costly social security system, with its dependence on means-testing and frequent arbitrary sanction, to provide an adequate income floor.

Conference believes that a Basic Income, an unconditional, non-withdrawable income paid to everyone paid to everyone, has the potential to offer genuine social security to all while boosting the economy and creating jobs.

Conference welcomes the ongoing exploration of the concept of a Basic Income by the think-tank Compass, the innovation charity Nesta, the Royal Society of Arts, and others; further welcomes the planned practical experiments in Finland and Utrecht, Netherlands.

Conference calls upon the union to actively campaign for a Universal Basic Income and eradicate poverty for all.

The successful motion originated with the West Midlands Community, Youth Work and Not for Profit committee.

Unite has 1.42 million members “from all walks of life,” including those not in employment. The Unite policy conference is held annually. This year’s conference is currently taking place in Brighton, and will continue through Friday, July 15.


Thanks to Becca Kirkpatrick for reviewing this news report.

Thanks also to my supporters on Patreon

Unite mural photograph CC William Murphy.

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 450 articles.

Kate has previously made a living as a professional student (current interests: philosophy of language, pragmatics, sociolinguistics), but is retired for the time being. Regarding her present work in the UBI community, you may read more here. If you think that market norms pretty much suck, and you're interested in the hypothesis that UBI could help to support a society in which people work predominantly out of non-financial motivations, please feel free to connect with her (Facebook works well). Same goes if you're interested in UBI out of a general opposition to job/career culture.

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One comment

  • Leon Segers, Maastricht, the Netherlands

    What a nice surprise! The basic income will free the labourforce to creativity. Removing tax- and other burdens from labour costs will bring the labour price on a world scale again on a competitive level and for the UK it will erase all that ramps to the labour market at last !

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