A universal basic income can help us recover from COVID-19: the Government must act now

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

110 MPs and Peers across seven parties have signed a joint statement calling on the Chancellor to introduce a recovery Universal Basic Income (UBI) in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Co-sign their letter by adding your name below.

It's clear that COVID-19 will continue to impact us all for months if not years to come. But the Government's current support schemes are not equipped to see us through. In the last weeks we’ve experienced the gaps that have left too many people and families struggling.

The hard truth is when this lockdown ends, there may be another one in waiting. The level of economic insecurity we now face is here to stay.

The tools of today can’t safeguard an entire nation’s wellbeing during this period of unprecedented, universal uncertainty. That’s why a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has got to form a crucial part of the Government’s recovery plan.

UBI is an unconditional monthly cash payment that everyone receives. It’s the quickest and most effective way to provide people with the security we need to rebuild our lives and jumpstart our economy. Recovery UBI would give us the freedom to make the best decisions for ourselves, our families and businesses as we emerge from this crisis.

Ask the Chancellor to act by co-signing the letter below.

To: Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer
From: [Your Name]

We are urgently calling on the government to prepare for a Recovery Universal Basic Income (UBI) in response to the coronavirus crisis.

As the scale and duration of the crisis becomes clear, it is essential that we take steps now to ensure that when we eventually emerge from lockdown, we do so with a fairer and more resilient society and economy.

We are likely to face a damaging recession, as well as ongoing economic insecurity, that will affect all of us. There will be more economic shocks from financial, climate and pandemic crises over the coming years. Income protection is too inflexible a tool on an ongoing basis and our current social security system is too cumbersome. Universal Credit is struggling to cope with the demands being placed upon it and many people are still falling through the cracks. The Job Retention Schemes are welcome but will be unsustainable in the long term. As we likely exit lockdown in a non-uniform way at an uneven speed, the system simply won’t be able to keep up with people’s individual changes of circumstances. This is why we need to put in place plans for a Recovery Universal Basic Income - a regular cash payment to every individual.

The payments should be sufficient to provide economic security for people but we are not proposing the exact rate or how long it should last, these are decisions for the government. For now, we need to put in place the mechanism to be able to distribute cash to everyone. This should include an urgent and significant increase in Child Benefit. This will provide an income floor nobody falls below and a springboard to recovery.

84% of the public now support the introduction of a UBI and our cross-party group shows support from seven parties across all four nations.

We urgently call on the government to put in place the mechanisms for a Recovery UBI so it can be rolled out as quickly as possible. This will help transition our society and our economy into a sustained recovery, and will become the foundation for a future social security system that provides genuine security.

Co-signed by:

Tahir Ali, MP (LAB)
Paula Barker, MP (LAB)
Kevin Brennan, MP (LAB)
Chris Lennie, MP (LAB)
Clive Lewis, MP (LAB)
Rachael Maskell, MP (LAB)
John McDonnell, MP (LAB)
Ian Mearns, MP (LAB)
Grahame Morris, MP (LAB)
Kate Osamor, MP (LAB)
Kate Osborne, MP (LAB)
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP (LAB)
Alex Sobel, MP (LAB)
Sam Tarry, MP (LAB)
David Triesman, MP (LAB)
Claudia Webbe, MP (LAB)
Nadia Whittome, MP (LAB)
Beth Winter, MP (LAB)

Baroness Kay Andrews (LAB)
Baroness Hilary Armstrong (LAB)
Baroness Jean Corston (LAB)
Baroness Christine Crawley (LAB)
Baroness Rita Donaghy (LAB)
Baroness Mary Goudie (LAB)
Baroness Anna Healy (LAB)
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC (LAB)
Baroness Helen Liddell (LAB)
Baroness Denise Kingsmill (LAB)
Baroness Ruth Lister (LAB)
Baroness Doreen Massey (LAB)
Baroness Susan Nye (LAB)
Baroness Dawn Primarolo (LAB)
Baroness Margaret Prosser (LAB)
Baroness Meta Ramsay (LAB)
Baroness Janet Royall (LAB)
Baroness Ann Taylor (LAB)
Baroness Joyce Quin QC (LAB)
Baroness Diana Warwick (LAB)

Lord Willy Bach (LAB)
Lord Paul Boateng (LAB)
Lord Keith Bradley (LAB)
Lord Clive Brooke (LAB)
Lord Des Browne (LAB)
Lord Meghnad Desai (LAB)
Lord Paul Drayson (LAB)
Lord George Foulkes (LAB)
Lord Peter Hain (LAB)
Lord Toby Harris (LAB)
Lord Simon Haskel (LAB)
Lord Alan Howarth (LAB)
Lord Philip Hunt (LAB)
Lord Jim Knight (LAB)
Lord Clive Soley (LAB)

Daisy Cooper, MP (LIB DEM)
Wendy Chamberlain, MP (LIB DEM)
Sir Ed Davey, MP (LIB DEM)
Tim Farron, MP (LIB DEM)
Christine Jardine, MP (LIB DEM)
Layla Moran, MP (LIB DEM)
Jamie Stone, MP (LIB DEM)
Munira Wilson, MP (LIB DEM)

Baroness Kath Pinnock (LIB DEM)
Baroness Claire Tyler (LIB DEM)
Baroness Lorely Burt (LIB DEM)
Baroness Joan Walmsley (LIB DEM)
Baroness Shas Sheehan (LIB DEM)
Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE (LIB DEM)
Baroness Sharon Bowles (LIB DEM)
Baroness Dorothy Thornhill MBE (LIB DEM)

Lord Malcolm Bruce (LIB DEM)
Lord Paul Strasburger (LIB DEM)
Lord Tim Clement-Jones (LIB DEM)

Caroline Lucas, MP (GREEN)
Baroness Natalie Bennett (GREEN)
Baroness Jenny Jones (GREEN)

Hywel Williams, MP (PLAID)
Liz Saville Roberts, MP (PLAID)
Jonathan Edwards, MP (PLAID)
Ben Lake, MP (PLAID)

Alan Brown, MP (SNP)
Hannah Bardell, MP (SNP)
Mhairi Black, MP (SNP)
Kirsty Blackman, MP (SNP)
Ian Blackford, MP (SNP)
Steven Bonnar, MP (SNP)
Dave Doogan, MP (SNP)
Stephen Flynn, MP (SNP)
Marion Fellows, MP (SNP)
Margaret Ferrier, MP (SNP)
Amy Callaghan, MP (SNP)
Dr Lisa Cameron, MP (SNP)
Ronnie Cowan, MP (SNP)
Angela Crawley, MP (SNP)
Martyn Day, MP (SNP)
Allan Dorans, MP (SNP)
Patrick Grady, MP (SNP)
Neil Gray, MP (SNP)
Neale Hanvey, MP (SNP)
Stewart Hosie, MP (SNP)
Chris Law, MP (SNP)
David Linden, MP (SNP)
Kenny MacAskill, MP (SNP)
Angus MacNeil, MP (SNP)
Stewart McDonald, MP (SNP)
Stuart McDonald, MP (SNP)
Anne McLaughlin, MP (SNP)
John McNally, MP (SNP)
Carol Monaghan, MP (SNP)
John Nicolson, MP (SNP)
Brendan O'Hara, MP (SNP)
Kirsten Oswald, MP (SNP)
Tommy Sheppard, MP (SNP)
Chris Stephens, MP (SNP)
Alison Thewliss, MP (SNP)
Alyn Smith, MP (SNP)
Owen Thompson, MP (SNP)
Richard Thomson, MP (SNP)
Pete Wishart, MP (SNP)
Dr Philippa Whitford, MP (SNP)

Claire Hanna, MP (SDLP)
Colum Eastwood, MP (SDLP)

Dr. Stephen Farry, MP (ALLIANCE)