We have now marked the one-year anniversary of lockdown in the UK. What a challenging year it’s been.
The end of lockdown is now in sight but it’s vital that we don’t just go ‘back to normal’. It is now time to talk about how we rebuild our country. It’s time to talk about Universal Basic Income (UBI).
The premise of UBI is simple: Pay every individual in society an amount of money, regularly and unconditionally, from the moment they are born to the moment they die.
It has five core characteristics:
- It’s paid in cash: it’s money you can spend on whatever you want.
- It’s paid regularly: so you know the next payment is coming.
- It’s for individuals: Each person gets their own basic income, paid to the individual not the household.
- It’s unconditional: You don’t have to work or make any promises to get your basic income, there are no strings attached
- It’s universal: everyone gets it.
Basic income today is seen as a radical idea, in the same way as the NHS was seen as radical (and perhaps unachievable) back in the 1940s. And it can be our generation’s NHS – the foundation of a new, post-COVID social contract.
More people and politicians are talking about basic income than ever before.
But the government is yet to be convinced and there are still millions of people who have never heard of the idea. It shows we still have work to do.
It’s now time to scale up the national Basic Income Conversation, one Conversation at a time. So why not start your conversation by downloading the Basic Income Conversation toolkit?
A basic income would go to everyone, so everyone should have their say about what it looks like.
We want to spark a wave of basic income conversations right across the country this Spring, embedding the idea into public consciousness.
Basic Income Conversations will spread the word about this big idea, taking basic income to thousands of people for the very first time. These Conversations are designed to increase people’s understanding and improve the quality of debate.
Basic Income Conversations are a chance for you to take action and become leaders. By hosting Conversations you will bring new people into our movement, as it grows and diversifies.
Basic Income Conversations give people the opportunity to share their stories and have their voices heard. We believe that lived experience is the most important evidence to consider in the move towards a basic income, you’re helping us gather that evidence.
Together, Conversations will help us build the power we need to compel decision makers to enact a basic income for all. Everyone is welcome to join in the Basic Income Conversation. You don’t have to be an expert or even support the idea, as long as you’re approaching the Conversation with respect and an open mind your contribution is valuable.
What is a Basic Income Conversation?
A Basic Income Conversation is a structured discussion that helps you deepen your understanding of basic income and look at its potential impacts. They are led by your stories – of why we need basic income, what we’d do with it and what impact it would have on our communities.
Our Toolkit helps you lead the Conversation.
You can now download the Basic Income Conversation Toolkit.
The Toolkit talks you through the step by step process of bringing people together for a Basic Income Conversation.
It includes template agendas, resources, tips and guides – everything you need to host a Conversation!
What can you do?
You might support basic income and want more people to hear about it. Maybe you’re not quite sure of the idea and want to talk it through. You might want to explore how a basic income would impact your area of work.
However you’re coming to it, if basic income has piqued your interest it’s time to have the Basic Income Conversation.
We’re here to help you turn that interest into action.
How you use the Basic Income Conversation Toolkit is really up to you.
We suggest you bring together a group of 5 to 10 people for your Conversation. You could invite your friends and family at home, colleagues at work, or your local community to discuss how a basic income might impact you.
However you use it, your work will bring more people into the movement. You’ll be leading the calls for a basic income and shaping our work with your stories.
Download the Toolkit today and start planning your Basic Income Conversation now!
Michael Pugh is Director and Co-Founder of the Basic Income Conversation. He’s a Community Organiser by trade with a background in the Living Wage Campaign having worked for Citizens UK. He sees basic income as vital to shaping our future and seeks to blend community organising, advocacy and research to make it a reality. The Basic Income Conversation blends organising, advocacy and research to promote basic income in the UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org