With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many Londoners have had to cease working, causing a large amount of struggles with finances. This has reignited discussion about a universal basic income for UK citizens. This means that regardless of whether one works or not, everyone gets a set amount of money per year, meaning they can either work to earn more or choose not to work. While this means the less wealthy are guaranteed some amount of security, but it also means the wealthy needlessly gain even more money. Many countries have debated this amongst their leadership. Finland has recently implemented this, which is perfect for a time in which many cannot work. When interviewed, it was discovered that the Finnish were happier overall, but not more likely to get a job. The study conducted to find these results looked at 2,000 unemployed people who were given 600USD/553EUR each month for two years.


Those who debate in favour of the income state that as well as people being guaranteed financial security if they may struggle with work due to disability or not having a high paying job, people are also free to pursue creative interests like writing and music, boosting the creative industry. It supports unpaid care workers (those who may be taking care of disabled/ill family members full time and therefore cannot work), expands the middle class by helping to eliminate poverty and raising workers raises overall in order to encourage people to work. Also, many unemployed people cannot find work due to not having money to invest in education and find/travel for work. The UBI provides a base amount of money for people to gain more.


The biggest argument against this is that millions will stop working due to there not being a need. This means less taxable income, which could cause a huge hit towards the economy. The cost of providing a basic income for all UK citizens over the age of 18 (which in 2018, was about 52,403,344) would also be a lot, and it may distract from funding for healthcare and education. Lastly, many say that it is not fair to hand out the same amount of money to billionaires as those born into poverty.


In conclusion, both sides show strong arguments. It would be especially helpful for this to exist in a time in which many cannot work, but the arguments against it are very strong too.