To Rishi Sunak, chancellor:
The fallout of coronavirus has illustrated that our means-tested benefits system is not fit for purpose. It’s confusing, bureaucratic and punitive – we are in urgent need of a new system of guaranteed income.
Under universal credit, many people fail to claim money that they’re entitled to, others lose out on payments because of technicalities, and many more still have to turn to food banks to survive. This is not good enough.
With universal basic income, everyone would get a set sum of money monthly, no strings attached. This money is enough to live on, replaces other benefits and is paid out automatically.
It would provide people with financial stability which would boost their mental health. Alongside that, it would give people more freedom to try out new ways of doing things, something we desperately need in the climate crisis.
Universal basic income would also help the economy as a whole, and at a much lower cost than many people expect.
For just 3.4% of the GDP, seven out of ten people would benefit financially and child poverty would be all but eradicated. That’s a pretty good deal.
Universal basic income is good for the individual, good for the economy and good for the planet – and we can’t introduce it soon enough.
“It’s high time that the wealth of the nation is shared for the benefit of all.”Antony, Hull
“The government closed down the industry in which I worked, leaving thousands jobless without support or any possibility to resume work.”Dylan, London
“People with many different skills are needed to create a good society, and people need enough money to be able to lead fulfilled lives.“Diana, Hull
“We are living hand-to-mouth on one person’s basic pension as I have to wait another year to receive mine. We have no money.”Jann, Essex