United Kingdom: Lib Dems in Hull call on Government to consider piloting Universal Basic Income in the City

United Kingdom: Lib Dems in Hull call on Government to consider piloting Universal Basic Income in the City

The Liberal Democrats in Hull have tabled a motion to Hull City Council that calls for the Chief Executive Matt Jukes to write to Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, requesting Government support to pilot Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Hull.

The Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, is moving the motion in a bid to tackle “increasing job insecurity” and says Universal Basic income will “help people reach their full creative and economic potential.”

Similar motions have been passed recently by Liverpool City Council and Sheffield City Council. In addition, UBI Labs have been set up to explore the potential of the policy being piloted regionally in Leeds, Sheffield and Kirklees.

Paul Drake-Davis as added, just before the actual meeting at Hull City Council, over which his motion on “local economy and the Universal Basic Income pilot” was to be presented

We live in a world of increasing job insecurity, where more and more people in Hull and across the UK are struggling to plan and build a better future for themselves and their families. Instead, people are just focused on surviving month-to-month, there needs to be a change to the system. 

I feel Hull, being a pioneering and progressive city, should join groundbreaking studies which are already taking place across the country to see if a Universal Basic Income has the potential to positively transform the lives and thereby the economy, wealth and wellbeing of our city.

The motion itself argues that UBI “has the potential to improve wellbeing and provide another boost to our local economy and share out prosperity in the city by safeguarding its most vulnerable residents”. It draws attention to present-day economic precariousness, and job insecurity, which are threatening people’s livelihood, and so calls for a UBI pilot scheme in the city of Hull.

As a result of the above-mentioned meeting, the motion at stake was passed, although much is still to be done, regarding organizing and securing funding for the UBI experiment.

More information at:

André Coelho, “United Kingdom: Lib Dem candidates back basic income pilots“, Basic Income News, December 10th 2019

André Coelho, “United Kingdom: Liverpool’s mayor and councillors bent on trying UBI“, Basic Income News, August 1st 2019

United Kingdom: Lib Dem candidates back basic income pilots

United Kingdom: Lib Dem candidates back basic income pilots

Jane Dodds and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson. Picture credit to: The Week

Over fifty candidates for the UK’s Liberal Democrat party (Lib Dem) have signed a personal commitment to back basic income pilots in the next parliament, if elected.

The intention to run these basic income pilots, which would be implemented by removing conditionality rules from the standard element of the main Universal Credit benefit system, is already an official part of the party platform, voted for by Lib Dem members this autumn as part of the party’s ‘A Fairer Share For All’ package of anti-poverty proposals. With social security issues low on the agenda in the election overall, however, a number of the party’s candidates signed a separate declaration to bring attention to the policy.

The Liberal Democrats have a comparatively long history with minimum income as an idea, with citizens’ income proposals forming part of the party’s platform in its 1992 manifesto, and in recent years their proposals to abolish the sanctions system for social security, which they adopted in 2016, have seen them move back towards unconditional income policies. This comes alongside the Lib Dems’ wider pledges to spend more money on social security, abolish benefit sanctions, and end many of the other restrictions and claim delays that have caused problems with the Universal Credit system since its introduction. Lib Dems have been recognized by the Resolution Foundation to have progressive policies on welfare issues.

The backers of the minimum income statement, which was organized by a group of party activists, come from across Britain, covering all nations and regions and both urban and rural areas. Notable signatories include Andrew George, James Cox, Jasmine Sakura-Rose and Jane Dodds (Welsh Liberal Democrat), who has publicly spoken out in favor of the idea.

Quotes from signatories:

“I support a minimum income because it gives people the power to say no to exploitative jobs and a base from which to work to better themselves. Only with a minimum income or UBI in place can we begin to support real freedom for all.” – Oliver Craven, candidate for Sleaford and North Hykeham

“We can’t carry on with a system that doesn’t ensure that people have a stable, reliable minimum level of income. The instability people face under the current social security system badly impacts on their health and wellbeing, and we have to find a way out of that.” – Josie Ratcliffe, candidate for South West Norfolk

“As a Lib Dem I believe in empowering people, and one of the most important parts of that is ensuring they can care for themselves and their communities and pursue their own paths and goals without the constantly looming threat of income insecurity that so many people currently face.” – Charley Hasted, candidate for Eltham

More information at:

Jane Dodds, “Why the Welsh Liberal Democrats want to trial Universal Basic Income in Wales”, Nation Cymru, March 2nd 2019

This article was written by James Baillie. Edited and reviewed by André Coelho.