1,000 signatures reached
To: UK Government
Demand UBI so people can afford to stay at home during the Covid-19 pandemic
Faced with the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic we have to demand that the UK Government does more than help businesses and banks.
Demand that the UK Government sets up a Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme as part of the emergency measures which would mean that people will be paid to stay home and look after their families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We need to pay people to stay home, because that’s the most valuable thing they can do for society in this crisis. The easiest way to achieve that is to put cash into everybody’s hands, immediately.
Why is this important?
We have to help support people through these challenging times and help them cope with the economic effects of not bringing home an income.
What’s needed is some form of Universal Basic Uncome (UBI). Universal Income is a modest basic payment to all citizens - there’s more information here https://www.wired.co.uk/article/universal-basic-income-explained
Some places are starting to get wise to this. Japan is now preparing to give parents $80/day to stay home with their children, and Hong Kong is setting up a one-time $1,200 stimulus for its adult citizens to help weather the difficulty and keep the economy running. Australia, too, is planning to start putting cash in its citizens’ hands.
In the USA Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, too, is now championing UBI as part of the solution.
This need not be just a temporary fix. When this virus passes into history, a continued UBI would continue to help us deal with our many other daily disasters, both individual and communal, from hurricanes to layoffs to heartbreaks. Shit happens, and it never stops happening, and we can always face it better when we have guaranteed security in the form of a steady income.
The coronavirus just might test our society beyond anything we’ve seen in decades. Will we pass this test? It will certainly be painful, but can we use the opportunity of this shared catastrophe to come together, beat back the worst of its potential consequences, and emerge stronger?
Maybe it takes a pandemic to realize just how important it is for people to never have to wait for the government to rescue them before they can start taking action for themselves, before they can feel protected. Maybe it takes a national crisis to see how important it is to strengthen every link in the great chain that is our nation.
If there can be a silver lining to this particular disaster, I really hope that’s it.