Historic Opportunity: Will Leeds lead the way?

Posted on September 12, 2020

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A Univeral Basic Income (UBI) motion has been submitted by Cllr Jonathan Bentley of the Liberal Democratic Party and is seconded by Cllr Ann Forsaith of the Green Party. This motion proposes to test a recovery and permanent UBI in Leeds and will be discussed during the next Council meeting on 16 September at 13hrs.

You can read the agenda of this Leeds Council meeting including the downloadable motion under agenda item 10.

We would like all our UBI friends and supporters to write to their councillors to support this motion. Obviously this applies particularly to councillors who are not members of the Liberal Democratic or Green Party.

Please find below a draft text what you may want include in your email or written letter to your councillors. In general an official letter seems to be more effective than an email, because the councillors receive an enormous number of emails. Please feel free to modify the draft letter to give it your personal note.

‘Dear Councillor [INSERT NAME}
At the next Council meeting on 16 September 2020, Leeds City Council has a big chance to vote on a motion to call for Leeds to be the first U.K. city to pilot a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
This is a big chance for Leeds City Council to support a UBI trial in Leeds.
Results from previous trials have shown that a UBI could have a significantly positive impact on increasing financial security, reducing poverty and supporting better mental health and wellbeing.
Given how many Leeds residents are struggling with poverty and insecurity during this pandemic, with many being failed by Universal Credit, it is vital that we trial a UBI in Leeds to address these issues.
I/We urge you to vote for this motion to support a UBI trial for Leeds at the full Council meeting on September the 16th.
Yours sincerely,

You can find the name of your local councillors at ‘write to them‘ or ‘democracy‘.

You can also ask friends and people who support a universal basic income to do the same.

In case you are a member of a political party in Leeds, you can raise the topic at your local party branch meeting.

You can find an article about the motion in the Yorkshire Evening Post “Leeds Councillors asked to support guaranteed income for everybody“.

You may be aware that the week from 14 to 20 September is the Basic Income week when physical and online events around the world remind the public and politicians to introduce a basic income for all humans. So it is really good timing that the UBI motion in Leeds will be discussed during this week. You can find out about Basic Income Week here.

Even in difficult times such as ours there is always hope! Let us hope that the Council of Leeds will join the growing movement which demands to introduce and test a Universal Basic Income at the local, national and global level.