27 September 2018
Sefton Green Party is calling for the council to put itself forward as a pilot area for a scheme that will see people being given money for free.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income – where every citizen gets a fixed amount of money from the government each month no matter what their circumstances – has been Green Party policy for years but is now being tested in cities throughout the world and seriously being considered in the UK.
Liverpool City Council has already asked to be part of a future pilot scheme but Sefton Green Party Co-Ordinator Mike Carter said that Sefton would be a better place to test the theories.
Mike said: “There are so many people in Sefton doing unpaid work or struggling due to lack of work – this would be an amazing chance for them to have a better, happier life.
“People in Sefton would be free to keep on working and earning on top of their basic income but imagine knowing you have enough to live on each month and not having to worry. People who are carers, parents and volunteers would especially benefit.”
The idea of a Universal Basic Income is not a new one and was first put forward by Thomas Moore in the 16thcentury. It was debated as a way of transforming Britain after the second world war and was trialled in the United States in the 70s. President Richard Nixon was an enthusiastic supporter but trials were halted following his resignation.
“Some people struggle at first to get their head around the idea of free money for everyone but when they see how it would be funded and how it would actually benefit the economy and make everyone more prosperous and secure they are quickly won over,” added Mike. “Sefton Council should make sure we are at the front of the queue to try this out and not let other boroughs get the benefits.”
Basic Income trails are currently taking place in Europe, Australia and the USA as economists search for ways to transform the economy as jobs are replaced by automation, robotics and the internet. The Green Party is also proposing a gradual transition to a maximum four-day week (for five days pay) as a way of helping people have happier, more productive lives