Preston ready to offer itself as a universal basic income test bed for the UK

Preston is to press ahead with its ambition to be a test bed for universal basic income (UBI) despite claims by the city’s Tory group that it would be unworkable.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 6:15 pm
Coun Carol Henshaw proposed the motion.

The Labour council gave its backing this week to the idea of a UBI system being trialled in the city, giving every person a basic wage whether they work or not.

A motion proposed by Coun Carol Henshaw was voted through at Thursday’s full council meeting, with the Liberal Democrats joining the majority Labour group in offering Preston to trial the idea nationally.

Coun Henshaw said: “It’s not a vanity project or something that will put Preston on the map as being the first UK city to trial a universal basic income - although, would that be a problem if it was?”

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Labour leader Coun Matthew Brown said: “It will give people freedom. We have got one life on this planet, we should, to some degree, enjoy it while we are here, take control of our destinies and the best way of doing that is through UBI.”

Tory leader Coun Sue Whittam argued: “I think the public are in favour of a welfare system that incentivises work and focuses financial support in the most in need and most vulnerable in our society.

"But this notice of motion is flawed, unworkable and unaffordable.”