2nd UBI update April

Posted on April 29, 2024

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Dear UBI Friends and Supporters,

We hope you are well! You will find some good UBI news in our second April update.

Reinhard Huss from UBI Lab Leeds will present this talk at the next Café Ėconomique Leeds session.

When? Tuesday May 7th 2024 starting @7.30pm

Where? Chapel Allerton Methodist Church, Leeds LS7 4NB

Reinhard will discuss the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) definition of Universal Basic Income (UBI) and some important gaps in the definition. The opposition against UBI is often focused on the issues of costs, affordability and feasibility. However, what matters in the end is the public demand and the political will to introduce UBI as a societal institution to offer everybody a secure social foundation. He will explain that UBI can support the socio-ecological transformation from an industrial extract-produce—consume-waste economy to a grand-children-friendly circular economy. We need to change our attitudes about UBI from ‘free money’ to a ‘right to subsistence’ and about our Commons from ‘free for all’ to our ‘collective inherited wealth’. The actual free-riding of our Commons (Air, Water, Soil, others) will be replaced by fees for their use. These fees will finance UBI and essential services. UBI delivery will be the responsibility of several Commons Trust Funds rather than the State.

Support calls to pilot Universal Basic Income in West Yorkshire

Lobby government for the devolved powers needed to pilot local UBI schemes

Work with other Mayors across the UK to call for a new social contract, which includes trialling a national Universal Basic Income scheme.

You can contact the candidates and congratulate them on their BI position (Bob, Andrew, Stewart) and ask Tracy and Arnold whether they will support BI pilots in West Yorkshire:

Tracy Brabin – Labour and Co-operative Party – tracybrabin4wy@gmail.com
Bob Buxton – Yorkshire Party – bobbuxtonyorkshireparty@gmail.com
Andrew Cooper – Green Party – andrew.cooper@greenparty.org.uk
Arnold Craven – Conservative Party – contact@acforwestyorkshire.co.uk
Stewart Golton – Liberal Democrats – stewart.golton@leeds.gov.uk

‘The evidence from our Housing First pilot is that, if you set people up to succeed, the vast majority will and, in turn, that saves money on crisis provision in other public services. For this reason, we believe the logical next step, after the success of our Housing First pilot,

is to bring forward a Basic Income pilot, as suggested by Compass. This would fit well with our new Live Well concept and would test whether a different, more preventative way of supporting people would lead to better use of public funds. Initially, it could be focused

on reducing child poverty or young people who have experienced being in care. GM would be unable to bring this pilot forward on our own but will make the case for hosting one to the next Government.’

You can find Andy Burnham’s promising election manifesto here.

‘We are living in a social, political, economic and environmental emergency. The status quo is profoundly unstable; change is inevitable. Now is the time to get together to build a far healthier and more balanced world.  The decades-old political orthodoxy, that greed is good, inequality doesn’t matter and we can keep treating the planet as a mine and a dumping ground, has been a recipe for disaster. Our world needs a new vision, the Green vision. From Universal Basic Income to free education, from less stuff but more life, to genuine democratic opportunities for all, Natalie Bennett brings together a holistic, hopeful and practical vision for the future.’

You can find out more and order the book here.

The web newsletter Business Insider reports about a Basic Income pilot in Seattle (USA): Seattle gave low-income residents $500 a month no strings attached. Employment rates nearly doubled. If you want to read more than the key messages ‘A Seattle basic income pilot gave low-income residents $500 a month, nearly doubling employment rates. Some participants reported getting new housing, while others saw their employment incomes rise.

 Basic income pilots nationwide have seen noteworthy success, despite conservative opposition.’ you need to register with the newsletter.

Mark Zuckerberg writes about the Permanent Fund Dividend in Alaska which has characteristics of a Basic Income. The regular annual income creates a positive and confident mindset in people. He praises that the basic income is being funded by Natural Resources rather than raising taxes. Unfortunately he forgets to mention that these natural resources are fossil fuels which are finite and non-renewable and their burning is one major factor of our accelerating climate crisis.

Catherine Thorbecke writes on the CNN website: AI is threatening Americans’ jobs. Could guaranteed income provide a safety net? She writes ‘That idea of guaranteed income is receiving renewed interest as AI becomes an increasing threat to Americans’ livelihoods.’ and refers to a three-year study of OpenResearch on unconditional income involving some 3,000 individuals in two states.

               An Open Forum on Feminist Definitions of Basic Income

               When: 25 April, 12.30-14hrs UK time

Researchers, activists, and community members interested in basic income are invited to this open forum to discuss feminist definitions of basic income.

Facilitators: Chloe Halpenny, Annie Miller, Toru Yamamori, and Almaz Zelleke

You can find out more and register here.

Empirical Normative Research with Tobias Jäger (University of Freiburg)

When: 25 April 13-15hrs UK time

The social contract has a long theoretical history. However, the empirical utilization of this idea is still rarely observed. This presentation focuses on the empirical relevance of social contract experiments to justify normative statements. The foundation of normative goals beyond efficiency is also important for economic science. Further, it discusses the role of social experiments in UBI research and its possible contribution to social policy outputs.

Zoom Link: https://uni-freiburg.zoom.us/j/66244057843?pwd=eU5rOTlpSTJjcERmUUVnUWhZYmpDZz09

Debating Connections: Bringing the Different Ideas Together

When: 2 May 13-15hrs UK time

You can find out more and register here.

Different Philosophical Traditions: What Can We Learn for Social Policy?

When: 9 May 13-15hrs UK time

You can find out more and register here.

Taiwan is making history by sending out a one-time universal cash payment of $6,000 New Taiwan dollars (NTD) to every citizen “young and old.” This is the first time the country has implemented such a policy, and it comes as a result of excess tax revenue of $450 billion NTD, much of which is coming from corporate taxes that have seen record-high profits. You can find out more here.

John McDonnell MP – Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former Shadow Chancellor

Vicky Blake – Leeds University UCU Honorary Secretary and former UCU General Secretary contender

Jonathan Rhys Williams – Lawyer GMB Wales and South West and Co-founder of UBI Lab Wales

               For more information and free registration, please visit:


Please inform trade union organisations and their members about this important event. Unfortunately most trade unions have not really appreciated the potential of UBI for their activities!

In solidarity and best wishes
reinhard on behalf of UBI Lab Leeds