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 500 articles.

I was a statistician, then a philosopher, then a journalist for a certain Basic Income News, and I have never been the sort to wed myself to any specific position or career path. (I have always chosen to remain in the precariat for this reason: my sense of duty is strong enough that I’d risk imperiling my own self-development if I were to accept a permanent position.) If you want to learn more about what I’m about, and how I see my ideal roles in the basic income community going forth, read the “cover letter” of sorts that is my Patreon homepage (updated November 2017).

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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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