Author Archives: Lewis Younie

Universal Basic Income – The case the Liberal Democrats must make

I do not intend to argue that UBI is a sensible, humane and economically transformational policy – its worth as a policy is readily apparent to any and all who have seen the devastation wrought by the pandemic. The inadequacy of miserly and bureaucratised welfare provision has now, for the first time in history, been made abundantly clear to a large swathe of the population who had previously been insulated from the humiliating, degrading, maddening process of claiming their entitlement to income support due to unavoidable job loss or illness.

What this moment represents is an opportunity to project the Liberal Democrats as a party concerned with rectifying this grossly outdated system with Universal Basic Income. The Party would demonstrate its commitment to the issues which are of paramount importance to the people of the United Kingdom: their financial security. No more sabre rattling about the EU; let us leave wading in the constitutional quagmire to the Conservatives and the SNP. It does us no favours to be the eternal champions of a defeated cause – the UK will not be re-joining the EU for decades in even the most optimistic prophecies.

UBI, however, is an immediate issue, out of which the Party could make enormous political capital, but only if we focus our energies on making it the well-honed point of a spear; the Party simply does not command enough public attention or respect to offer comment on the wide array of policies which we commit to. The two most successful political parties, the Conservative Party and the SNP, in the UK have founded their recent success upon their message cohesion – Boris’ ‘Get Brexit Done’ and the SNP’s never-ending commitment to independence. UBI is potentially superior to these platforms in nature – it is a unifying message, not based on division, and, properly communicated, hard to argue with. Show me a upper middle class individual who would publicly announce the low paid logistics, health or social care workers don’t deserve a bedrock of guaranteed economic security.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 34 Comments

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