A universal basic income (UBI) has been suggested to reduce poverty in Cornwall.

See original post here.

The scheme, in a report by independent think tank Autonomy, suggests an income of at least £40 a week per child and £60 a week for an adult aged up to 65.

The cost would be met in a number of ways including a tax on high earners and reform of National Insurance.

But a Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “We have no plans to introduce a universal basic income.”

‘Rising care and housing needs’

The report said Cornwall had been “hit hard” by the pandemic, with an increase in people using food banks.

The report, produced in collaboration with the University of Exeter’s campus at Penryn in Cornwall, outlines how a two-year pilot scheme could take place for 2,000 residents at an estimated cost of about £40m.

The report said: “Our analysis suggests that Cornwall would be well suited to a basic income, with among the highest levels of poverty and inequality in the UK.

“Cornwall has been hit hard by the Covid pandemic and its workers are reliant on insecure seasonal work.

“In addition to these non-standard forms of employment, Cornwall will also witness rising care and housing needs in the coming years.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions said: “It [UBI] would not incentivise work, target those most in need in society, or work for those who need more support, such as disabled people and those with caring responsibilities.

“Meanwhile our approach to welfare recognises the value of supporting people into well paid work, whilst protecting the most vulnerable in society.”

The Welsh Government has announced a pilot, “basic income for care leavers”, providing unconditional cash payments of £1,600 per month to over 500 young people for two years from their 18th birthdays.

You may also be interested in...