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Universal Basic Income Trial Begins In London

Another conspiracy comes true, dependence on government for income is the priming of the public to accept CBDCs. You will own nothing and be happy....

A London mum receiving free money from a Universal Basic Income (UBI) trial wants the scheme to be rolled out across the capital.

Lucy Idris, 31, hailed the lack of judgement or criteria attached to the cash and says she doesn’t know how she would survive without it.

The pilot study – which organisers claim is the first of its kind in the UK – began this month when more than 70 people were given a one-off monthly payment to spend on whatever they want.

It comes around 18 months after local campaigners set up ‘mutual aid’ schemes to help alleviate local pandemic poverty.Researchers are now piggybacking on the original initiatives to study how a UBI might work in the real world.

The idea behind a basic income is to give everyone unconditional payments to spend on what they want and need – but even the most basic essentials in the capital cost far more than the £50 a month being handed out by the crowdfunded research.

Yet despite the payment being relatively small, organisers hope the trial can go some way to demonstrating the value that a UBI would have.

Hotel chef Lucy, based in Hackney, explained that she has used the money for shopping, general bills and school uniform for her two daughters, aged four and seven.

Speaking exclusively to, she explained: ‘It’s a really good scheme, they’re not judging you. You can use the money for shopping, for gambling, whatever.

‘Those people that take it, they genuinely need it.

‘Benefits don’t get given to you that easily.’

When she first heard about the mutual aid schemes – which the UBI trial partially funded in December – Lucy says she was ‘shocked and sceptical’ that the money would be handed over unconditionally.

‘I thought it was too good to be true’, she recalls.

One recipient, Stephen Bell, from Brent, said he had previously been reliant on food banks and used the money to pay for food and electricity.

The 43-year-old self-employed events organiser, whose work was hit by Covid, explained that he started getting £50 or £30 a month from July 2020, branding the initiative ‘amazing’ and a ‘god send’.

‘Hopefully people can learn from it (the study) and come up with some improvements and other similar schemes’, he said.

The study comes in the wake of the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift being cut and as the cost of living in the UK soars.

Londoners in need have been getting help since the Covid-19 crisis kicked off from groups in the London Solidarity Fund Federation, which this month joined forces with the Basic Income Conversation, after it fundraised cash to give to recipients.

The latter’s co-founder, Cleo Goodman, explained: ‘We are sending a message that without the security of a basic income, many people are unable to work or to feed their families.

‘We hope this pilot will demonstrate the impact a basic income could have on people’s lives – and encourage people to take action so we can guarantee financial security for all citizens.’

Cleo told that it is still too early to assess the full impact of the scheme and what it might say about a potentially wider UBI rollout.

But, she said anecdotally the extra money was making ‘a massive amount of difference.’

UBI boasts an unlikely coalition of supporters stretching across the political spectrum.

Ahead of the 2019 election, Labour said it could trial one if it got into power, with leader Jeremy Corbyn telling that his party were ‘looking at’ the idea.

Conservatives and other right-leaning thinkers have also backed the policy, while the then-Green leader and London Mayoral candidate Sian Berry told why she backed one for the capital last year.

Explaining that unconditional cash was desperately needed to avoid hardship in London during the Covid crisis, Rebecca Woo said the mutual aid groups that popped up as the virus struck have highlighted how essential financial help is.

Rebecca, who works with the Newham Solidarity Fund – which is part of the Federation – added that it became clear people were slipping through the cracks in Government support and needed cash in hand.

‘With this project we wanted to draw the parallels between the solidarity fund payments and a basic income to show how needed a basic income is’, she said.

‘Unconditional financial support needs to be available on a much larger scale than what we’re doing at the solidarity funds.

‘It needs to be enough to allow people to live with dignity and it needs to be universally available.’

Yet the idea also has its critics, with Tory Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey suggesting last March that people would blow a basic income on ‘lots of drugs’.

Others say money should not be given to already rich people and that the idea could lead to increased unemployment and inequality.

The results of the study are due out next year.


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