Cardiff Liberal Democrats have today backed calls from UBI Lab Cardiff for our city to take part in a pilot of a Universal Basic Income.
UBI Lab Cardiff describe themselves as "a local group of UBI advocates with the aim of piloting the idea in the city."
Universal Basic Income (or citizen’s/unconditional income) is defined as the payment given to every single citizen regardless of wealth and means, which is regular, direct and is enough to ensure their basic needs are met. It is for everyone, is a cash payment and is designed to ensure they have enough to meet their basic needs.
In response to a letter from UBI Lab Cardiff, Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillors said:
It is our shared view that the current system fails to meet our tests of a dignified, respectful, and enabling society in which everyone is able to live free and fulfilling lives.
We also recognise that the coronavirus outbreak has demonstrated further how ill equipped our economy and Universal Credit as currently implemented are in providing everyone with a minimum level of security beyond which nobody should fall, and how so much of what we value as individuals and as a society cannot be measured through our concept of work.
Figures published by Cardiff Council this week suggest that as a result of an economic recession, unemployment could be 50 per cent higher in Cardiff for at least two years, and that more than 45,000 workers - including around 10,000 in the food industry - will face and carry the burden of the economic fallout of the coronavirus.
This is of huge concern and we recognise that our collective approach to social security, well-being, and economic recovery will need to change if we are to prevent people from falling further behind.
As the Welsh Liberal Democrat group on Cardiff Council we fully support your calls for Cardiff to pilot a Universal Basic Income and look forward to working with yourselves and on a cross-party basis on this matter."