by David Watts on 25 September, 2020
To bring an end to the financial insecurity faced by the most vulnerable, the Liberal Democrats have today agreed plans to campaign for a Universal Basic Income.
Ahead of a debate at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference, the Party’s new Economy spokesperson Christine Jardine challenged her Party to “fulfil Beveridge’s legacy” by tackling the injustice of too many people being “caught between low-paid work and a punitive benefits system.”
In demanding reform, the Liberal Democrats have pointed to the estimated 8.5 million adults and 4.5 million children living in poverty in the UK, as well as the people that society relies on but aren’t adequately supported, such as unpaid carers – the majority of whom are women.
Under plans to be worked on by the Liberal Democrat Federal Policy Committee, the very richest in society will pay more into the system than they will receive.
Speaking after the debate, Liberal Democrat Economy spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
“The threat of coronavirus to livelihoods up and down the country has brought into sharp focus the ways in which our welfare state is not fit for purpose. The crucial element of universal protection has been missing.
“With every passing day and every phone call from someone in need, I have become convinced that Universal Basic Income is the milestone solution and the engine for equality that we need.
“It can be the solution for people we absolutely rely on – from carers and stay-at-home parents, to supermarket workers and delivery drivers. An answer to end the injustice of being caught between low-paid work and a punitive benefits system.
“With the task of recovering from the pandemic, and tackling challenges such as automation and changing work patterns, we need to be bold if we are to ensure that everyone has the freedom and opportunities they deserve.”