Guildford Borough Council backs Lib Dem motion calling for a Universal Basic Income trial in Guildford

April 14, 2021 10:30 AM

Lib Dems for Basic IncomeLast night a motion proposed by Liberal Democrat councillors Steven Lee (Merrow Ward) and George Potter (Burpham Ward and candidate for Guildford East in the County elections) was passed overwhelmingly at Guildford Borough Council's full council meeting. The motion called on the government to trial Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Guildford.

UBI is a system whereby every adult citizen receives a set amount of money on a regular basis to provide a basic income to live on. The goals of basic income are to alleviate poverty and to replace other social programmes which are typically more complex, more bureaucratic and can result in people in need falling through the cracks.

With rising poverty risks from factors including the gig economy, increased automation in the workplace and the recent pandemic, it is looking more and more likely that some form of universal support programme will eventually have to be introduced. Funding for UBI and UBI trials would come from central government. The Liberal Democrat motion called for the locations for such a trial to include Guildford so that the social and economic benefits this would afford would be felt by residents and businesses here in Guildford rather than going elsewhere.

The Liberal Democrat motion was passed with 36 votes in favour, 7 abstentions and 1 against. The vote against was from a Labour councillor with the other Labour councillor abstaining.

The text of the motion can be found as Item 11 of the order paper for the council meeting: