Coronavirus is concentrating discontent with the benefit system – but does that include sickness and disability?

It seems the knives are out for Universal Credit. But while academics think in terms of justice for all, Tories don’t. Even if they accept changes to their flagship benefit, how likely is it that they will allow an end to their favourite pastime – torturing people with long-term illnesses and disabilities? As for bringing in a UBI – Universal Basic Income that will mean nobody goes without food, clothes or a home… The Tories are sure to tell us: go whistle. Or am I reading them wrong? Radical changes…

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Coronavirus: Starmer’s Labour abandons thousands to fall through gaps in the Tory benefit system

Well done, Keir Starmer! What a socialist you are! Labour’s new leader has said it would be inappropriate to impose a Universal Basic Income (UBI) benefit system during the coronavirus crisis. This means people who have been deprived of their income by the Tories imposed lockdown are condemned to live without any money until the lockdown ends – possibly for some time after, while the nation picks up the pieces. Mr Starmer seems entirely relaxed about this u-turn – he had previously demanded a national “income guarantee scheme” to fight…

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Coronavirus: Three million people go hungry because the Tories won’t introduce Universal Basic Income

  The Financial Times almost got it right. The bit that says More than 3m people in Britain are going hungry I think we can all agree with. But because of the coronavirus crisis isn’t quite right. The research the FT quotes says that many families have been pushed into poverty because the lockdown means they have suffered “stark drops in income” – but isn’t this because the Tories have tried to cover the loss of employment income with a patchwork of policies that don’t cover everybody and are spectacularly complicated to administrate, rather…

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Coronavirus: if Spain can introduce a Universal Basic Income, why can’t the UK?

This is an important question: the UK has a larger economy than Spain, so why can’t the UK have a Universal Basic Income like Spain? Instead – at the moment – we have a series of scheme for people in different circumstances, that are both complicated and costly. UBI would be easier and cheaper. But the Tory government won’t have it. Why? Well, the logical answer is because Tories don’t want to supply a steady income to poor people, in a system that they won’t be able to remove again…

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Chancellor’s ‘jam tomorrow’ package for the self-employed is worse than useless now

How kind of Rishi Sunak to announce aid for self-employed workers who are likely to lose money because of the coronavirus crisis – except he didn’t did he? He made a vague promise that we (This Writer is self-employed) might be able to get a grant of up to 80 per cent of our profits, which is taxable, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month – but not until at least the beginning of June, more than two months from now. Oh, but we can claim Universal Credit in the meantime – except we can’t, because…

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Coronavirus: trust Iain Duncan Smith to try to wreck our chances of survival

It had to be him. Iain Duncan Smith, creator of the huge increase in poverty in the UK since 2010, has spoken out against a plan to keep people from financial ruin during the coronavirus crisis. His prime minister, Boris Johnson, said he would consider introducing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) to help people hit by the financial impact of social distancing measures he has introduced to fight the spread of COVID-19. It has been suggested that the idea would cost the Treasury £260 billion – less than the £330…

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General election 2019: Labour pledges to pilot Universal Basic Income

  A Labour government may pilot a Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme, possibly to replace the current benefit system, it has been claimed. In an interview with The Independent, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he intended to include a pilot UBI scheme in Labour’s manifesto – adding that the it would be even more radical than the document that turned around the party’s fortunes in the 2017 election. Mr McDonnell, a long-term supporter of UBI, said he was looking at including “at least one pilot” in Labour’s blueprint for government: The…

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