West Yorkshire Mayoral Election 2024 – Pledge for UBI

Posted on April 7, 2024

Back to Blog

The Pledge

The cost of living scandal has shown that our welfare system is not fit for purpose. Millions of people cannot afford an adequate amount of nutritious food and decent accommodation. Families across the UK are facing poverty and destitution.

After decades of underinvestment, cities in the north are falling even further behind the south. Communities across West Yorkshire are seeing already-high rates of poverty skyrocket. We can’t go on like this.

We urgently need to strengthen our welfare system. The creation of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) – a regular and unconditional cash payment to every person in the UK – could be an important part of the solution. This should be combined with universal, affordable service provision in areas such as housing, utilities and public transport.

A Basic Income would provide financial security for all, giving everyone the essential resources they need to fulfil their potential. It would transform our social security system with a scheme fit for the 21st century – one that would allow everyone to develop and contribute their talents.

A Basic Income would build resilience into our society and our communities. It would provide the investment in people we need to rebuild our towns and cities and help to address the climate and ecological crises. It would provide protection and a sound livelihood foundation for everyone.

Mayors and governments around the world, from Catalonia to California, are trying out Basic Income (BI) schemes. Many have found that a guaranteed income allows their citizens to live happier, healthier and better lives. 18 councils across the UK, including Leeds plus the Welsh Senedd, have passed motions calling for a pilot in their areas, and the Scottish Government have funded a world-leading feasibility study into what pilots could look like.

The current welfare system is failing communities in every part of the UK. It’s time to be politically courageous and try something new. As Mayor of West Yorkshire, I will:

Who has signed the pledge so far?

Bob Buxton, Yorkshire Party

Andrew Cooper, Green Party

Stewart Golton, Liberal Democrats