EXCLUSIVE: Voters support a universal basic income

44% of respondents support the idea of a universal basic income compared to 23% who oppose it.

class pay gap

Almost twice as many voters support the idea of a universal basic income compared to those who oppose the idea, a new poll for LFF has found.

The poll, carried out by Savanta:ComRes, found that 44% of respondents support the idea of a universal basic income compared to 23% who oppose it.

A universal basic income (UBI) is a regular cash payment every individual receives, without any reference to their other income or wealth and without any conditions. A UBI would help alleviate poverty, provide a degree of economic security and give people real freedom over their lives. It would also remove the uncertainty and stress that so many who receive means-tested benefits face, fearing a sudden withdrawal of support that will push them into poverty, as we saw with the government’s decision to scrap the £20 uplift in universal credit which it is estimated will push 200,000 children into poverty.

While critics argue that ‘free money’ will mean a greater number of people dropping out of work, studies of UBI trials have found the exact opposite.

While 33% of 18-24 year olds support the idea of a universal basic income, the number rises to 46% of those aged 65 and over.

When it comes to party affiliation, 41% of Conservative Party voters support the idea of a universal basic income as do 55% of Labour Party voters, 54% of Liberal Democrat voters and 57% of Green Party voters.

Opposition to a universal basic income was highest among Conservative Party voters at 29%, with just 17% of Labour Party voters and 20% of Lib Dem voters opposing too.

A spokesperson for Basic Income UK told LFF: “This poll is broadly in line with previous opinion polls on universal basic income, although it’s unusual in finding more support amongst older people than younger people.

“It would be interesting to know whether that’s an effect of the government measures around covid-19, or the rise in state pension age affecting many over 65, or a combination of these factors. Younger campaigners for UBI call it ‘our generation’s NHS’ and we’ll continue to spread the word that everyone deserves the means to live.”

The question asked was the following: Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a system in which all adults regularly receive an equal payment paid by the government without a means test. To what extent, if at all, do you support the idea of a Universal Basic Income

Representative poll of 2184 GB adults. Prepared by Savanta: ComRes

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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