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Lambeth Labour councillors reject call for Universal Basic Income

As millions continue to fall through the cracks of government support packages, the call for a trial of Universal Basic Income has been rejected for a second time by Lambeth’s Labour councillors.

At last night's full council meeting, Lambeth’s Labour councillors voted against a Universal Basic Income for Lambeth residents, for the second time.

It came after Green councillors tabled an amendment to a Labour motion on Universal Credit (1), asking the council to write to the Government to ask for a trial of a Universal Basic Income in Lambeth.

Green councillors have been urging Lambeth to follow the lead of other council’s around the country and support the scheme which could lift hundreds of local residents out of poverty and provide a safety net during the pandemic.

The Green Group of councillors point to the fact that Universal Credit has not only been linked to high rates of mortality, and falls far short of the level of support needed for many struggling families, especially as the country enters into another crushing recession.

There have already been a number of progressive Labour-run councils and local authorities that have called for a pilot of a Universal Basic Income. This includes Leeds, Edinburgh, Norwich and Liverpool to name a few (2), as well as various members of the London Assembly and Bell Ribeiro-Addy, our Labour MP for Streatham (3).

Cllr Jonathan Bartley, Green co-leader of the official opposition on Lambeth Council said: “It beggars belief that a Labour council would oppose a Universal Basic Income for Lambeth’s residents at a time when they need help the most. A Universal Basic Income would tackle inequality and poverty and provide security and opportunity for hundreds of Lambeth residents. They should follow the lead of other councils around the country who recognise what a difference it could make to local people’s lives.”

Notes

(1) http://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s120925/1.%20Motions%20-%20October%202020%20with%20Amendments.pdf
(2) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/leeds-becomes-largest-city-uk-call-universal-basic-income-pilot-b468654.html
(3) https://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2020/03/coronavirus-streatham-mp-joins-call-for-emergency-universal-basic-income/

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