15 November 2019
The Green Party will today [Friday 15 November] become the first political party to promise a fully costed Universal Basic Income for every resident by 2025.
The Green’s will set out plans to scrap Universal Credit and the cruel benefit sanctions regime, which have been found to push people further into poverty and destitution.
The plans will make sure every adult receives at least £89 per week, with additional UBI payments for groups of people who experience barriers to working, including disabled people, single parents and people of pension age.
All benefits except housing benefit and carers allowance will be incorporated into the new payments, which will be phased in over five years. Someone earning the minimum wage of £8.21 an hour and working 37.5 hours a week would see their weekly income increase by 32% through UBI.
The plan aims to eliminate the cruelty of the current benefits system opening the door to opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach, and liberate people from the anxiety of job insecurity.
Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party, will launch the policy outside a Job Centre in the City of London today.
She said: “Our message is clear, poverty is a political choice. Only the Green Party has the policies and ambition to eliminate the cruelty of the benefits system and tackle poverty head-on. A guaranteed minimum income for every UK resident is a further building block of the Green New Deal that will transform all our lives.
“Nine years of Conservative Government has targeted and demonised people who face unemployment, disability and low incomes as the scapegoats of austerity. The switch to Universal Credit and unfair benefit sanctions have caused huge suffering for so many people, and are underpinned by a cruel ideology which is focused on punishment instead of society as a whole helping people when things go wrong.
“The Green Party will take a totally different approach based on the principle of real social security. Our policies will improve everyone’s lives while fighting the climate emergency.”
Financial security is the key to a good society, and a key plank of the Green New Deal is to provide people with new options and opportunities, freeing people to take part in the community-level action that will fill in all the gaps on the path to carbon neutrality.
People receiving a universal income will have more choices, and more people will be able to cut working hours to retrain, start new green businesses, take part in community action or simply improve their wellbeing.