On Wednesday 1st February, the Green Party in Sheffield called for the Council to support the principle of a universal basic income in an amendment by Green Councillor Douglas Johnson. Cllr Johnson put forward the amendment in response to Labour’s principle that “work will always pay”. The amendment built on a motion that referred to a wealth of statistics on poverty, including that 63% of children living in poverty are in working families.
Disappointingly, the Labour Party unanimously voted against the amendment tabled by Cllr Johnson.
Cllr Johnson said,
“The mantra of the Conservative and Labour parties, work will always pay, is not the experience of millions of low income families. The claim is increasingly hollow as the rift between hard work and financial success grows wider.
It is so disappointing to see that our ambition to make sure everyone in our city can have a decent standard of living has not been supported by Labour councillors.”
The universal basic income is non-means-tested, does not require anyone to be actively seeking work, and is paid in addition to wages. It is a key part of the Green Party vision for a more secure and sustainable future.
Pilot schemes are being carried out by the Finnish Government, the city of Utrecht (Netherlands), and councils in Glasgow and Fife.
- Our amendment:
To Add: (j) and welcomes the Green Party’s support for the principle of a universal basic income, which ensures that work will always pay and also addresses the unacceptable hardship of poverty, and looks forward to the results of pilot programmes in Finland, Glasgow and Fife.
- Council agenda
- Details of a basic income (or citizen’s income)
- Glasgow and Fife pilots
- Finland trials
- Caroline Lucas’ views