Universal Basic Income: The UK May Host One of the Biggest Trials Yet


A major universal basic income trial could come to the United Kingdom, if the opposition Labour Party wins power at the next election.

The idea, which would see every adult receive a fixed monthly sum regardless of their situation, has been lauded by campaigners as the key to reducing inequality in an increasingly-automated world where robots and A.I. take on more roles. John McDonnell, the party’s finance spokesperson (or “shadow chancellor”), announced plans Sunday to trial the idea in three areas.

“The reason we’re doing it is because the social security system has collapsed,” McDonnell told The Mirror. “We need a radical alternative and we’re going to examine that.”

We need a radical alternative.”

Similar trials have shown promising results, leading to growing support from political movements. A trial in Finland showed people receiving a small monthly sum felt happier and more secure on the same total levels of income as non-recipients, while also reporting higher trust in politicians. An Ontario experiment found people could afford to eat better-quality food, improving health.

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