Sheffield could be the first city in the UK to pilot Universal Basic Income

The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has named Sheffield to be the first city to pilot Universal Basic Income.

UBI LAB: Sheffield is an experiment which aims to operate as a combination of social movement and research group to gather evidence whether a Universal Basic Income could be a positive model of our work and welfare structure.

Jason Leman, part of UNI LAB Sheffield website said: “A Universal Basic Income might allow people to create more fulfilment and meaning in their lives.

“There would be greater choice over the paid work that we do, and the activities done outside of paid work. The idea raises the potential for a different future and a different way of living.”

Within UNI LAB: Sheffield there are some concerns regarding the merits of the experiment. Their concept is also exploratory as they try to stimulate new thinking about how to explore the idea of a Universal Basic Income.

Jason Leman added: “Sheffield is a divided city. The often hidden separation of work, culture and social life that divides Britain is reflected in the geography of Sheffield. The smoke from the factories marked the north and east as housing for the workers. The cleaner south and west, bounded by countryside, were for the professional class. This distinction remains.”

According to UNI LAB a Universal Basic Income might allow people to create more fulfilment and meaning in their lives. But it is not said to be a utopian medicine. The role of community, relationships, support and guidance are likely to be central to realising the potential of UBI.

Universal Basic Income has recently trialled by Finland for two years and Scotland are currently making enquiries into the viability of the scheme.

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