285 politicians, campaigners, academics and civil society leaders have signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to put in place a Universal Basic Income to protect UK households from future crises.

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak PM
10 Downing Street

Dear Prime Minister,

Over the past fifteen years, people across the UK have faced an unprecedented series of crises. From the financial crash and the pandemic to climate breakdown and the cost-of-living crisis, each has left households at risk of precarity and poverty. Despite these successive emergencies, we have not yet put in place measures in this country that would protect everybody when the worst case scenario becomes a reality.

For the second time in three years, the government has been forced into putting money in people’s pockets to prevent disaster. These ad-hoc solutions have been too little, too late, and have come at extortionate cost to the public purse. 125,000 people have been told they need to pay back £500m in Universal Credit payments wrongly issued during the pandemic. Now, during a cost-of-living crisis, almost 110,000 people have been sanctioned by the DWP in one month alone. These makeshift solutions will not provide the comprehensive protection this country needs when the next crisis hits.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the UK led the world in creating the NHS. This established a level under which no-one could fall – rich or poor. The cost-of-living crisis shows that we urgently now need to do the same for people's incomes.

A Basic Income would guarantee a basic standard of living for everybody, regardless of income, wealth or work. It would be set at a modest level – enough to pay for the basics, like food, transport and utility bills. But it would be enough to prevent struggling households being tipped into poverty when the next crisis hits. Put simply, a Basic Income could be our generation's NHS.

There is a myth that Basic Income increases unemployment. But in every comparable country where it's been tried, a Basic Income has led to an increase in employment. For a Conservative Prime Minister, helping more people into work should be a priority.

In your first speech on taking office, you focused on strengthening security and building a strong economy. But our country cannot be secure if our households, neighbourhoods and communities are not secure. The inevitability of further, and likely larger, shocks to our economy means we urgently need a sustainable and resilient economy. ‘Levelling up’ can only become reality if it’s built on a foundation of stability and security.

Basic Income is an idea that is rapidly gaining interest across the UK. The Welsh Government has just launched a world-leading pilot involving young people leaving care. North of the border, the Scottish Government has indicated its intention to pilot Basic Income during this parliament. And in England, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has repeatedly expressed his desire to pilot Basic Income in the city, saying that the idea's "time has come". Recent polling has borne this out: YouGov found that Brits support the introduction of a basic income by a 20-point margin.

This winter, we are facing a real moment of crisis. The poverty and inequality caused by the cost-of-living crisis could threaten the very foundations of the UK itself. The social fabric of this country is at risk of being damaged irreparably. Now is not the time for half-measures, or to tinker around the edges. The system we have put in place to support our fellow citizens is failing us, and we need to try something different.

We, the undersigned, urge you to:

1. set up a government taskforce to explore the potential of Basic Income as part of a new economic settlement for this country
2. launch substantial pilots in all four nations of the UK to see how a Basic Income would work in practice

Yours sincerely,

CPPLG Chair Christine Jardine MP, and Baroness Natalie Bennett, Beth Winter MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Hina Bokhair AM, Patrick Brown MLA, 195 elected representatives, and 84 academics, civil society and campaign leaders.


Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire (LAB)
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester (LAB)
Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor (LAB)
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of Greater London (LAB)
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region (LAB)

Alex Barker, Global movement lead, Be More Pirate
Dr Alison Briggs
Amanda Burgauer, Director, Common Weal
Angela Fell, Co-founder, Neighbourhood Democracy Movement
Annie Miller, Chair, Citizen's Basic Income Trust
Ben Clay, Organiser, Greater Manchester Tenants Union
Ben Keegan, Chief Executive, Roundabout
Bob Rhodes, Founder, Lives Through Friends
Dr Calum Carson
Dr Carly Jackson, Co-chair, Psychologists for Social Change Cymru
Charlotte Davies, CEO, Swansea MAD
Chris Watson, Director, Self Directed Futures
Cleo Goodman, Co-founder and Project Director, Basic Income Conversation
Clive Tuck, Project development manager, Tumbledown
Daryl Bishop, CEO, Ben's Centre for Vulnerable People
Dr Dave Beck
Edna Robinson, Chair, The People's Powerhouse
Ellen Vick, Chief Executive, New Prospects Association
Dr Gabriella Alberti, University of Leeds
Dr Gemma Bridge, Independent public health researcher
Dr Ghazala Mir, University of Leeds
Glyn Butcher Board, Director, PFG Doncaster
Professor Guy Standing
Dr Hannah Wedge, Committee member, Psychologists for Social Change Cymru
Helen Sims, CEO, Voluntary Action Sheffield
Henry Porter, Journalist, The Convention on Brexit
Dr Henry Tam, Director, Question the Powerful
Indy Johar, Founding director, 00 and Dark Matter Labs
Jack Monroe, Anti-Poverty Campaigner and Author
James Lock, Director, Opus Independents
Dr Jen Daffin, Co-chair, Psychologists for Social Change Cymru
Jodie Marshall, Founder and director, A Mind Apart Theatre
Joe Doran, Action Inquiry Manager, Lankelly Chase
Professor John Walley
Jules Sebelin, CEO, Nottingham CVS
Karen Parry, Chief executive, Inclusion North
Professor Karen Rowlingson
Professor Karl Widerquist
Professor Kate Pickett
Laura Bannister, Campaign Director, World Basic Income
Dr Laura Neilson, Director, Shared Health Foundation
Lauren Roberts-Turner, Leaders Unlocked
Liz Leach Murphy, Imagineer
Maggie Gordon-Walker, Founder, Mothers Uncovered
Magid Magid, Founder and director, Union of Justice
Dr Mark Bryan
Dr Marketa Dolezalova
Matt Hawkins, Co-director, Compassion in Politics
Professor Matthew Smith
Mike Caston, CEO, Nottingham Mencap
Mike Cow, Milk the Cow podcast
Mike Danson, Chair, Basic Income Network Scotland
Monica del Pilar Uribe Director, The Prisma
Dr Nancy Evans
Naomi Pohl, General Secretary, Musicians' Union
Neal Lawson, Director, Compass
Dr Neil Howard, Trustee, Basic Income Earth Network
Dr Noelle Blackman, CEO, Respond
Norma Curran, CEO, Values Into Action Scotland
Dr Paul Luke
Philip Hardstone, Organiser, Democratic Yorkshire
Rebecca White, Founder and CEO, Your Own Place CIC

The full list of signatories can be found here.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP (LAB)
Beth Winter MP (LAB)
Caroline Lucas MP (GREEN)
Chris Stephens MP (SNP)
Christine Jardine MP (LIB DEM)
Clive Lewis MP (LAB)
John McDonnell MP (LAB)
lan Byrne MP (LAB)
Mick Whitley MP (LAB)
Nadia Whittome MP (LAB)
Olivia Blake MP (LAB)
Rachael Maskell MP (LAB)
Richard Thomson MP (SNP)
Ronnie Cowan MP (SNP)
Stephen Farry MP (ALLIANCE)
Stuart C McDonald MP (SNP)
Tommy Sheppard MP (SNP)

Lord Paul Scriven (LIB DEM)

Baroness Natalie Bennett (GREEN)
Baroness Jenny Jones (GREEN)
Baroness Ruth Lister (LAB)

Jack Sargeant MS (LAB)
Jane Dodds MS (LIB DEM)
Rhys ab Owen MS (PLAID)

Ariane Burgess MSP (GREEN)
Gillian Mackay MSP (GREEN)
Maggie Chapman MSP (GREEN)
Mark Ruskell MSP (GREEN)
Paul Sweeney MSP (LAB)
Ross Greer MSP (GREEN)

Andrew Muir MLA (ALLIANCE)
Connie Egan MLA (ALLIANCE)
Danny Donnelly MLA (ALLIANCE)
David Honeyford MLA (ALLIANCE)
Eóin Tennyson MLA (ALLIANCE)
Kate Nicholl MLA (ALLIANCE)
Kellie Armstrong MLA (ALLIANCE)
Nick Mathison MLA (ALLIANCE)
Nuala McAllister MLA (ALLIANCE)
Patricia O'Lynn MLA (ALLIANCE)
Patrick Brown MLA (ALLIANCE)
Paula Bradshaw MLA (ALLIANCE)
Peter McReynolds MLA (ALLIANCE)
Sorcha Eastwood MLA (ALLIANCE)
Stewart Dickson MLA (ALLIANCE)

Siân Berry AM (GREEN)
Hina Bokhari AM (LIB DEM)
Caroline Pidgeon AM (LIB DEM)
Zack Polanski AM, Deputy Leader of the Green Party (GREEN)
Caroline Russell AM (GREEN)

Jane Baston, Co-chair of the Young Greens
Kelsey Trevett, Co-chair of the Young Greens
Adrian Ramsay, Co-leader of the Green Party
Anthony Slaughter, Leader of Welsh Green Party

René Meijer, CEO, Food Works Sheffield
Richard High, Board Member, Basic Income UK
Roz Davies, CEO, The Green Estate
Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health, Doncaster Council
Dr Sam Murray, Middlesex University
Sara Hill Trustee, Voluntary Action Sheffield
Shahmir Sanni, Vote Leave whistleblower
Simon Duffy, Director, Citizen Network
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
Dr Tamsin Bowers-Brown, Director of the Office for Institutional Equity, Leeds Trinity University
Tamsin Lejeune, CEO and Founder, Common Objective
Professor Tim Ensor
Tim Renshaw BEM, Chief executive, Cathedral Archer Project
Tom Brake, MP from 1997 to 2019, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 2012 to 2015
Tom French, Founder, Sheffield Data for Good
Tracy Fishwick OBE, Director, Transform Lives Company
Vicki Beevers, CEO, The Sleep Charity
Vinesh Kumar, Founder, iDirect Independent Living
Will Stronge, Director, Autonomy
Zain Hafeez, Organiser, Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre

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