Hull becomes third UK city to request UBI trial

Hull has become the third city to express an interest in being the site of a universal basic income (UBI) trial, with its Council writing to Chancellor Savid Javid requesting his permission to pilot the idea.

24 Jan 2020| News

Under a UBI scheme, everybody receives a minimum income from the State, which they can build on through earning wages.

The idea has been gathering interest in recent years due to the increasing shift towards automation, which it is feared could put workers out of jobs.

“We live in a world of increasing job insecurity, where more and more people in Hull and across the UK are struggling to plan and build a better future for themselves and their families. Instead, people are just focused on surviving month-to-month, there needs to be a change to the system,” Liberal Democrat Councillor, Paul Drake-Davis, who tabled the motion for UBI, explained to the Yorkshire Post.

Proponents of the scheme also claim that it provides the freedom for workers to access further education and training to improve their skills, and increase productivity by enabling workers to find jobs that best suit them.

“Universal Basic Income has the potential to help people reach their full creative and economic potential,” Drake-Davis added.

Cross-party support for UBI – with even Conservative Party councillors voting in favour of it – has enabled Hull to become the third major Northern city to request a pilot, alongside Sheffield and Liverpool.

Sam Gregory, Chair of a UBI lab in Sheffield, told the Guardian that Westminster had “failed these communities for far too long”.