John McDonnell. Picture credit to: PoliticsHome.


John McDonnell’s proposes to include a basic income pilot in the next Labour Party’s manifesto, an intent which has been going on since 2016, at least. During 2018 a working group was formed, led by professor Guy Standing, a prominent economic advisor to McDonnell and specialist in basic income and related issues, giving rise to the publication and presentation in May 2019 of a detailed report about its applications within the UK’s context. McDonnell dubs this new manifesto as “more radical” than the previous 2017 manifesto, probably also including the more urgent measures to curb carbon emissions, relating to the impending climate emergency.


McDonnell, a 40-year companion to Jeremy Corbyn in politics, is now sure that “at least one pilot” should be set up in the United Kingdom territory, as soon as the Labour Party gets elected to government and Corbyn sits as Prime Minister. This is still being internally drafted within Labour’s top advisors, but McDonnell remains confident. He has said that “we’ve had [basic income pilot] bids from Liverpool, Sheffield, [and] a couple of other places”. Meanwhile, in Scotland, a basic income feasibility study is being developed, involving the localities of Fife, Edinburgh, Glasgow and North Ayrshire.


More information at:

André Coelho, “United Kingdom: Guy Standing presenting report “Piloting Basic Income as Common Dividends”, Basic Income News, May 6th 2019

Ashley Cowburn, “General election: McDonnell vows to present Labour’s most ‘radical’ manifesto with universal basic income pilot”, Independent, November 11th 2019

Ashley Cowburn, “Labour set to include pilot of radical basic income policy in next manifesto, John McDonnell says”, Independent, July 31st 2018

André Coelho, “Scotland: How the Scottish Citizens Basic Income Feasibility Study has been evolving”, Basic Income News, March 31st 2019

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 367 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.