Columnist Paul Waugh has asked whether this is an idea whose time has come, and – considering that Ontario and Norway are already about to start pilot schemes – he may be right.
It is perhaps unsurprising that Mr Corbyn plans to discuss Universal Basic Income with Norway – he is already scheduling talks with Labour-sympathetic politicians there over possible future relationships with the European Union, once the UK has left it.
It’s a shame that a predicted fall in house prices is likely to happen before the next election, though. Mr Corbyn’s idea that the state could buy up dwellings to use as social- and council houses is a good one – but can you see the Tories doing anything as responsible?
Of course not.
That’s why we have the homelessness, overcrowding and insecurity that Mr Corbyn mentions in the source article.
Of course, the Conservatives would say that a Labour Party putting forward such policies was being irresponsible, and would have the national newspapers and broadcasters supporting them.
But is it really irresponsible to say that, in the world’s sixth-largest economy, everybody should be able to afford the cost of living – rather than saying security should only be available to those who can force poverty and misery on others?
Labour is looking at a radical plan to give every Briton a ‘universal basic income’, Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed.
In an interview with HuffPost UK, the Labour leader said that the policy would be considered along with others as part of a way to ‘bring about a more just and more equal society’.
He praised the idea as he also suggested that the recent fall in property prices, post-Brexit, could help tackle the housing crisis.
Under a ‘basic income’ system, the state would give every adult of working age a monthly sum, to be topped up by earnings for those in work.
It is seen as a way out of the welfare trap, offering incentives for employment while guaranteeing all basic help with living and housing costs. Everyone, including parents taking a career break, would receive it.
The universal basic income idea has been around since the 1970s but has recently become popular and Canada’s Ontario and Norway are both starting pilot schemes.
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