One of the contenders for the leadership of the UK’s Liberal Democratic Party has edited a a book of policy ideas for the party: Build Back Better. Among those policies is a Basic Income:
Nothing could be more uncertain than what will happen as we emerge from coronavirus. People have lost their jobs or are uncertain if there’ll be jobs to go back to. There has been an exponential increase in food bank usage. A huge number of people are applying for Universal Credit – many for the first time – and are left waiting five weeks for their first payment, pushing them nearer and nearer the brink. This comes on top of the likelihood of a deep recession, with all the ensuing impact on our wellbeing and our hope for the future.
UBI is not a silver bullet; we would, for example, need a separate, properly funded system to ensure that everyone has a safe and secure home. What UBI does is turn on its head our idea of the value each of us hold. It starts us on a clear path to a more equal society. It’s a tipping point at which we can reshape our society and our economy for the better.
When I first heard about UBI, I was far from convinced. But I watched, I worried, I read and I changed my mind. (Cllr Rhys Taylor, pages 29-30