The last 2 years have demonstrated a very simple principle. Our economic system is failing.
Whether it’s the loss of the universal credit uplift or the people slipping through the furlough net – with the cost of living crisis, it just isn’t working.
A universal basic income (UBI) would go a huge way to alleviating poverty.
In fact, research in London demonstrates that we could lift 130,000 Londoners out of poverty.
Today – I proposed a motion to the London Assembly (along with Caroline Pidgeon AM) that would empower communities to create their own UBI projects that were grass roots lead rather than top-down impositions.
I was buoyed as always by the support of my Green colleagues and thankful for support from the Liberal Democrats.
I was shocked and surprised though when Len Duvall AM, leader of the Labour Group, took to the chamber floor to declare “No!” to my motion for Universal Basic Income – especially when there are examples of Labour around the UK coming on board with UBI pilots.
Yes – it would be great if national government implemented a basic income across the UK but that’s no reason to not implement it where we can do so. That’s leadership.
Sadly the final result meant that the Labour group and the Conservative group all voted together and the motion fell. (With thanks to the Liberal Democrats for supporting the Green Group.)
With YouGov data out this week though from a poll I commissioned that shows 50% of Londoners support UBI with only 22% opposed – we shall keep making the arguments until it happens.
The following is a video of our full exchange on the chamber floor followed by the motion text.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor to explore the benefits of a universal basic income for Londoners, by creating a fund to support community-led trials in the final draft consolidated budget 2022-23.