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Richard Branson supports UBI

Richard Branson. Credit to: Wikipedia.

Multi-billionaire Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, recently became the latest wealthy entrepreneur to publicly support universal basic income (UBI), following similar public statements by Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook and Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Flickr.

Writing on his personal blog on the Virgin website, Branson said: “In the modern world, everybody should have the opportunity to work and to thrive. Most countries can afford to make sure that everybody has their basic needs covered. One idea that could help make this a reality is a universal basic income. This concept should be further explored to see how it can work practically.”

He went on to discuss the UBI experiments currently taking place in Finland, and stated that: “A key point is that the money will be paid even if the people find work. The initiative aims to reduce unemployment and poverty while cutting red tape, allowing people to pursue the dignity and purpose of work without the fear of losing their benefits by taking a low-paid job.”

Branson also indicated that he had discussed this with The Elders, a group he helped to create which aims to be the “village elders” of the new “global village”. The Elders include members such as Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon. He reported: “What I took away from the talks was the sense of self-esteem that universal basic income could provide to people.”

More information at:

Richard Branson, “Experimenting with Universal Basic Income”, Richard Branson’s blog, 14th August 2017


Edited by Genevieve Shanahan

About Claire Bott

Claire Bott has written 26 articles.

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • Serf Jester

    It could be convenient when the masters of mankind are in agreement with the population. There are reasons against UBI in terms of implementation from some viewpoints, but the principles are pretty fundamental and clear that it is a right if we care about human rights.

  • Inky Mark, former MP

    GAI, guarantee annual income is long overdue, with an aging poor population, society has to find methods to help our seniors. GAI should replace all forms of welfare currently being administered for all citizens

  • Global Resource Bank shareholders, i.e., all the people in the world monetize Earth’s wealth of natural resources. The GRB eco is a natural resource backed crypto currency that provides a basic income for everyone @

  • Mr. Branson,

    To support UBI share the Global Resource Bank’s eco currency program at

    John Pozzi

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