direct finance – UBI 27/5/2021 Support is growing for a universal basic income – and rightly so

In Wales, a survey showed 69% of people supported a trial, and a letter asking the British government to consider similar plans was signed by over 500 cross-party politicians from across the UK. Already, 32 local councils across the country have voted in favour of a pilot in their areas.

Since COVID-19, there has been a global surge in support too. In the USA, Los Angeles has become the latest city to launch an experiment, and there have been trials in Canada, South Korea and Kenya. In Europe, a poll last year, covering France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain, found that more than two-thirds of people were in favour of a basic income.

Of course, there are sceptics. The Conservatives reacted to the Drakeford’s announcement by saying Wales should not become “a petri dish for failed left-wing policies”. But there is nothing especially left-wing about providing everybody with a basic income – it is a matter of common justice that would enhance freedom and provide basic security for all.