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Local Councillors write to Chancellor to urge Basic Income Pilots to help support struggling people through the pandemic

November 4, 2020 10:36 AM

With the country about to go into lockdown for another month two local councillors have signed a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequor Rishi Sunak urging him to test run Universal Basic Income pilots as a way of supporting people through the pandemic.

Hinckley Lib Dem Borough and County Councillor Michael Mullaney who signed the letter said "Many people in Hinckley and Bosworth have the agonising double worry of both worrying about their own and their families health during the Covid-19 pandemic but also worrying abouth their finances during these difficult times. With another month's lockdown and the possiblity it could be extended for longer many people are facing the risk of losing jobs if businesses cannot survive repeated lockdowns. Whilst the government has extended the furlough scheme there is no guarantee it will last longer and could leave many people in huge financial difficulites when it ends. Meanwhile many self-employed people are excluded from support schemes.

"The more than 500 elected officials who have signed this letter are urging the government to look at launching pilots for a Universal Basic Income that would ensure everyone had a guaranteed income at this difficult time. This pandemic has sadly shown that anyone, through no fault of their own, can lose their jobs, or business or livelihoods. A Universal Basic Income would give everyone the security of a backup if they fall on difficult times."

Barwell Parish Councillor Mathew Hulbert says, "Everyone, whatever their individual backgrounds or present circumstances, should be able to live with dignity.

"COVID-19 has highlighted just how much inequality there is in our society.
No government should have to be convinced, for example, that children from less well off backgrounds should receive free school meals not just in term time but holiday times too.

" Sadly this Tory government, despite the sterling efforts of footballer and Campaigner Marcus Rashdord, still just doesn't get it.

"What a Basic Income does is guarantees that everyone can live with the certainty and dignity of an income that will never fall below that needed to sustain a good life.

"Government can always find the money for things when it has to, as evidenced by the furlough scheme, so it should stop wasting time and fund a UBI now.

"I'm very proud that supporting a UBI is now official Lib Dem policy and I look forward to campaigning for it to be introduced as soon as possible for the good of people across our Borough and beyond."
People can add their names to the petition at https://www.ubilabnetwork.org/letter-to-rishi-sunak