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Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a term used to describe a number of different proposals where the state would provide income for all citizens, without any conditions attached, and regardless of their other resources. The idea has a long history and has attracted supporters from across the political spectrum at various times.

A petition, entitled Implement Universal Basic Income to give home & food security through Covid-19 was considered in an oral evidence session of the UK Parliament Petitions Committee on 17 September 2020. In response to the petition, the UK Government said a Universal Basic Income “does not target help to those who need it most”, stressing additional support provided during the coronavirus outbreak, such as the Job Retention Scheme and changes to Statutory Sick Pay and Universal Credit.

The Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament debated Universal Basic Income on 30 September 2020. The accompanying motion, calling for the Welsh Government to establish a Universal Basic Income Trial in Wales, was passed by the Senedd.

A motion to campaign for a Universal Basic Income was also passed at the Liberal Democrats’ annual conference in September 2020.

The Commons Library previously published a debate briefing on Universal Basic Income in 2016.


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