Jeremy Corbyn to investigate idea of universal basic income

The Guardian

UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn will use a speech in London on Thursday to announce that Labour will research the radical policy of universal basic income, which would replace means-tested benefits with a flat-rate payment.

Some on the left see the idea, which would guarantee every citizen a taxpayer-funded income, as the best way to protect low-paid workers against the insecurity of today’s labour market.

Corbyn will say: “Technological changes and the so-called ‘gig economy’ can mean increased insecurity and uncertainty across our society. It is one of the reasons I am looking at policies that can help provide more security for working households.

“One such possible answer may be the often-discussed suggestion of a universal basic income.” 

He said the party would research and test the policy, which has won the backing of Labour MPs from different wings of the party, including former shadow transport minister Jonathan Reynolds. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has already said he is examining the idea, which seeks to tackle inequality.

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