More than twice as many Londoners back UBI as a way to build financial security after the pandemic than oppose it

Londoners back policies for financial security through the pandemic

By: Zack Polanski

Original post can be read here:

More than twice as many Londoners back a universal basic income as a way to build financial security after the pandemic than oppose it, according to new data from YouGov commissioned by Green London Assembly member, Zack Polanski.[1]

Fifty per cent of Londoners say they support a universal basic income (a policy that makes sure everyone has an income, without a means test or requirement to work) with just 22 per cent opposed. 

For rent controls, which Londoners have previously supported by a large majority in other polls,[2] support reaches more than two thirds, at 67 per cent, with just 11 per cent opposed. 

Zack Polanski AM will today propose that the Mayor of London supports a trial of a basic income in a budget-related motion he will propose in the London Assembly.[3]

He  says:

“Introducing a national basic income needs a change of policy from Government, but we can act now to show the value of this idea in London and the benefits to people on low or precarious incomes.  “The Assembly already backed the idea of trialling a basic income within London in 2020.[4] It is time for the Mayor to step up and help fund the community-led trials that are being proposed. Greens have been pushing for rent controls and a basic income for several years and, while the current Mayor has now committed to pushing for devolved powers to control rents, the Government has so far not listened. We are asking him now to work more urgently, with Mayors from other cities, to allow cities to control rents and help Londoners whose wellbeing is seriously harmed by sky-high housing costs.”

These new data suggest that a plurality of Londoners now recognise that world events may put anyone’s income at risk, and are willing to support a simplified social security system that would ensure everyone has a basic income, regardless of circumstances.

Both measures saw a plurality of support across all age groups. For a basic income, the highest level of support was seen among Londoners aged 25-49, while rent controls saw the highest support in the 50-64 age group. 

Zack Polanski UBI Survey (YouGov) high res


1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,166 adults in London (18+). Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th – 17th January 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+).

2. Zack Polanski AM will propose the following motion to the Assembly at the Plenary Meeting on the Mayor’s draft consolidated budget on Wed 26 January:

“This Assembly calls on the Mayor to explore the benefits of a universal basic income for Londoners, by creating a fund to support community-led trials as part of his final draft consolidated budget for 2022-23.”

Webcast of the meeting begins at 10am. Motions will be debated after a short lunch break at around 1pm.

3. Mayor to develop ‘rent control’ proposals. Mayor of London, Jan 2019 

4. London Assembly Members back trial of basic income for the city. Sian Berry AM, Mar 2021 

You may also be interested in...


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Join our community and sign up for the Basic Income Today newsletter.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.