Sheffield city council back Universal Income trial

Sheffield council leader Julie Dore has backed plans for a Universal Basic Income trial in Sheffield.

Last month, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell named Sheffield as one location for Universal Basic Income trials under a future Labour Government.

A feasibility study commissioned by the shadow chancellor suggested a pilot scheme would work in the UK, following a report published by campaign group UBI LAB Sheffield.

Julie Dore said of the comments: “UBI has the potential to be a bold, radical change to how our economy and society works with benefits for people’s well being and how we support people in need,” she said. “In order to face up to these realities, I think it is completely right that radical solutions are considered.

“As a council, we are getting behind this and committing to looking at this further and working with a Labour government in trialling this.”

McDonnell told The Mirror last month: “I’d like to see a Northern and Midlands town in the pilot so we have a spread. I would like Liverpool – of course I would, I’m a Scouser. But Sheffield have really worked hard. I’ve been involved in their anti-poverty campaign and they’ve done a lot round the real living wage. I think those two cities would be ideal and somewhere in the Midlands.”

Writing on the UBI LAB Sheffield website, Jason Leman explains the concept. “A Universal Basic Income might allow people to create more fulfilment and meaning in their lives. There would be greater choice over the paid work that we do, and the activities done outside of paid work. The idea raises the potential for a different future and a different way of living.”

Universal Basic Income was recently trialled by Finland for two years and Scotland are currently making enquiries into the feasibility of the scheme. The concept centres around reducing inequality by introducing regular cash payments for all adults, regardless of their salary situation.

Read the full report from UBI LAB Sheffield here.

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