Universal basic income could get people back on feet financially, says Brown

COVID-19 Economy Paddy Brown Universal Basic Income

A roll-out of universal basic income (UBI) could get people back on their feet financially in the recovery from the COVID pandemic, Alliance South Down representative Patrick Brown has said.

Councillor Brown, recently selected as Alliance’s representative for the constituency, said a new group established to explore the feasibility of UBI trials in Northern Ireland was another important step in the fightback after the pandemic, in a bid to not “do things the same way”. The Northern Ireland Universal Basic Income Trials Steering Group is comprised of local authorities and other key stakeholders, and aims to promote UBI across the region.

“Last year was a landmark one for UBI in Northern Ireland, with over half the local Councils passing motions calling for trials in their area. I am proud Alliance led those efforts,” said Councillor Brown.

“But it is crucial now we build on this momentum and continue to push for the need for continued financial support as we come out of the COVID pandemic. The working group’s first meeting was a success in exploring new ideas – as we seek to recover from the pandemic, it is essential we do not do things the same way.

“That means providing people with more economic security and support in difficult times. As we work in building credible proposals to test this idea, it is increasingly clear UBI will help get people back on their feet. That’s why we need to see trials to witness the impact it could have. There is a real momentum around UBI and while we still face challenges, we need to continue to take steps forward towards its potential introduction.”