Ideas for a letter to your representative

It is always better to use your own words when writing to your MP and other representatives. If you just cut and paste the same text as lots of other people, you will most likely be ignored.
So use the text below as inspiration, but try to make it personal. Tell them why you think economic security is important to you and how your life would be changed if you had a Basic Income.

Dear < representative >,

I am writing to ask you, as my representative, to join this recently-formed cross party group on Universal Basic Income (UBI). It is a great initiative to bring together like-minded political leaders at all levels of Government to discuss ways of making UBI a reality in the UK. You can join by following this link https://www.ubilabnetwork.org/applg.

Basic Income is a really simple but powerful idea: a regular payment made to every individual legally resident in the country, with no strings attached.

UBI is financial security for everyone. It is an income floor below which no one will ever fall.

UBI has become more urgent than ever in this pandemic: millions of people are being asked to make real sacrifices (like forgoing their jobs or closing down their businesses) to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. They are making these sacrifices not necessarily for themselves, but in order to protect others in society. If society is asking so much of everyone, it is only right that as a society we find ways of helping everyone weather the consequences as well.

In trials around the world it has been shown that people who get a UBI suffer less ill health (both physical and mental) and report better general well-being. UBI is good for individuals and for society.

UBI is not a licence to do nothing, but a licence to do anything. It will encourage entrepreneurship, as well as voluntary and caring work.

If I had a small, unconditional regular and unconditional income I would…..

UBI would be empowering for women. A small amount of financial security would encourage more women to leave abusive relationships.

UBI would empower the young to go out in the world and become active citizens, or to stay longer in education and prepare themselves better for the future.

UBI would empower those with families to spend more time raising their children to the benefit of all society.

The current welfare system is stigmatizing and humiliating for those who come into contact with it. It forces people to prove they are poor and pries into every aspect of their private lives. It is no wonder that so many go without rather than submit to those indignities.

(If you are or have been in receipt of benefits, tell your representative about your personal experience)

The welfare system is also self-defeating because it discourages people from doing what it wants them to do: get work. It is so hard to get benefits that, once in the system, it is better to do nothing to alter your circumstances than to risk it all by changing them by, for example, getting some part-time work.

By contrast, universal benefits, like the NHS, are not stigmatizing, and are popular, because they are there for everyone.

So UBI is a great idea and I would encourage you to join this group, learn more about it and use your position of power to do your bit to make it a reality in this country. I think UBI could be as important to the post-pandemic effort as the creation of the NHS was in in the post-war years. I hope you can get behind it.

Yours sincerely,