Universal Basic Income (UBI) is not a new concept by any means as it has been floating around for quite a while and made an appearance on the Green Party Manifesto in 2017. Essentially; UBI aims to give everyone a basic income rate, regardless of their means or income. For some this is a great idea, as the money will come in really handy, and for some, it’s not going to make much difference… but who would say no to free money?
Earlier in the year the Telegraph wrote about the “proposal to give £10,000 to everyone under 55“, and let’s be honest, doesn’t that sound great? The money would come from the Universal Basic Opportunity Fund (UBOF) and is said to help improve the lives of citizens, making them more meaningful. But where would the money come from? Unfortunately, the answer is a raise in taxes, though it would be imposed only on the “wealthiest”.
On Tuesday, the Guardian wrote about the Labour party backing trials of UBI. The BBC also put out a feature on this topic, “basic income of £48 a week in UK urged“. The Guardian claims: the payments of regular cash would to top up low pay and reduce inequality. The UK is not the only one considering the merits of UBI, as Finland has been testing this concept for a while, and Scotland is said to be in talks with the RSA to explore it further.
One common argument for UBI is the increasing automation of jobs, some economists argue that the money could help them to self-invest and get ahead of probable redundancies. Another argument is that UBI may create a safety net for those who are not currently eligible for benefits (due to unique and complex situations). Obviously, these are just a few reasons in favour and there are many more…
Humour me for a second, and let’s imagine this is going to happen, and you’re about to be given 2 payments of £5,000. How would this change your life? What would you do with the money? For many people, this is definitely life changing and will help to improve their quality of life, some may splurge on a few holidays and live with the memories, but the savvy among us may put it aside to invest… Either way, we’re all going to be a little more comfortable than we are now. Right?
With UBI, maybe more millennial’s will be able to afford to move out?