COVID-19 and a Basic Income in the UK: Making it work

de Ruyter, A. and Hearne, David (2020) COVID-19 and a Basic Income in the UK: Making it work. Working Paper. Centre for Brexit Studies.

Coronavirus and a Universal Basic Income_V6.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB)


This article makes the case for the adoption of a Basic Income in the UK, set at the level of £8,500 per adult and £4,250 per child. In contrast to advocates of more limited measures such as a ‘partial basic income’, we argue that a relatively generous Basic Income is affordable in the UK and can be paid for via a comprehensive reform of the tax and benefits system. We particularly identify the potential for wealth taxes as addressing any funding shortfall. Moreover, advocates of a limited Basic Income fail to address the fundamental problem of the current system, which is not its unequal nature with limited benefits per se, but its propensity for extreme precarity at short notice. As such, the current Covid-19 pandemic has brutally exposed the shortcomings of a flexible labour market combined with a limited welfare safety net in the UK. We argue this increases the urgency and appeal of a comprehensive Basic Income.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
21 May 2020Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Basic Income, Universal Basic Income, Income, Covid, Covid-19, Covid19, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Virus, Centre for Brexit Studies, BCU, Birmingham City University
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-02 - economics > CAH15-02-01 - economics
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-03 - politics > CAH15-03-01 - politics
Divisions: Research, Innovation, Enterprise and Professional Services > Centre for Brexit Studies
Depositing User: Bethan Tolley
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2020 09:49
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2022 16:29

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...