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Lib Dems support UBI Pilot in Hull

Liberal Democrats in Hull have called on Government to consider piloting Universal Basic Income in the City.

The Liberal Democrats tabled a motion to Hull City Council last week, calling for the Chief Executive Matt Jukes to write to Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid requesting Government support to pilot Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Hull.

The Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, brought forward the motion last week in a bid to tackle “increasing job insecurity” and says Universal Basic income will “help people reach their full creative and economic potential.”

The motion was successful so Councillors will now request permission to pilot the scheme. Similar motions have been passed recently by Liverpool City Council and Sheffield City Council. 

In addition, “UBI Labs” have been set up to explore the potential of the policy being piloted regionally in Leeds, Sheffield and Kirklees.

Commenting ahead of the motion, Lib Dem Councillor for Beverly and Newland said:

“We live in a world of increasing job insecurity, where more and more people in Hull and across the UK are struggling to plan and build a better future for themselves and their families. Instead, people are just focused on surviving month-to-month, there needs to be a change to the system.

“Many governments are already looking to see if this concept can be that exact change. Universal Basic Income has the potential to help people reach their full creative and economic potential.

“I feel Hull, being a pioneering and progressive city, should join groundbreaking studies which are already taking place across the country to see if a Universal Basic Income has the potential to positively transform the lives and thereby the economy, wealth and wellbeing of our city.”

The full text of the motion to Hull City Council is below.

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform and one of the co-founders of UBI Lab Sheffield said:

“We really welcome this support from Liberal Democrat leaders in Hull. Ahead of the 2019 General Election the Green Party, the Labour Party, Plaid Cymru, the Scottish National Party and Gwlad Gwlad all expressed support for piloting basic income, and the ongoing systemic failures of Universal Credit mean that we need to think much more deeply about what the current social and economic context demands. Not only will we need to respond to rapid technological change but we need to unlock the creativity of all citizens. A modest degree of economic security has the potential to unleash the full potential of our local communities.”

This encouraging news has been covered in both the local press:

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/politics/universal-basic-income-could-transform-hull-says-liberal-democrat-councillor-1-10198825

and national press:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/19/hull-universal-basic-income-trial

Follow #LetsTryUBI on social media for further developments across the UK and abroad.

More information and resources on UBI Labs is available at:

https://www.ubilabsheffield.org

Text of the motion:

Council motion to be formally moved by Councillor Paul Drake-Davis at Hull City Full Council on 16th January

Local Economy & Universal Basic Income Pilot Motion

Council notes that a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has the potential to improve wellbeing and provide another boost to our local economy and share out prosperity in the city by safeguarding its most vulnerable residents. UBI labs have been launched in Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and Kirklees in the North of England to explore the viability of the new policy idea in those prospective cities. 

Council notes that many residents in Hull currently live in precarious circumstances where they struggle to plan for the future and just focus on surviving week by week. 

Council also notes that many who work in either the gig economy or under zero hours contracts lack the job security afforded to previous generations and that even those who may seem be in traditionally safer employment are at the growing risk of redundancy from the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and automation. 

Council further notes that a UBI pilot in Hull would potentially generate additional money into the local economy and so it is in the city’s economic interests to be part of a pilot scheme - it could provide more financial security and stability for its residents during the pilot scheme period. 

Council calls for officers to engage with key stakeholders in Hull to cooperate in setting up a UBI steering group and to continually be a part of the process of setting up a UBI lab in Hull. The council would, as part of this, assist a UBI steering group to bid for funding in order to setup a UBI lab in Hull with the sole aim of successfully getting the funding to pilot a UBI in Hull. 

Council also requests that the Chief Executive writes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP, requesting that the government support piloting a UBI scheme in Hull.

[social media photo attributed to post: Angela Baker @angyv on Unsplash]