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John McDonnell: Labour taking a close look at universal basic income

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Shadow chancellor says the concept of an unconditional payment to all could prepare country for robotisation of the workforce.

Labour is considering backing the idea of a universal basic income – a radical transformation of the welfare state that would ditch means-tested benefits in favour of a flat-rate payment.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, who is keen to find policies to match his slogan of a “new economics,” will appear at the launch of a report on the proposal from the leftwing campaign group Compass in the House of Commons on Monday evening.

A universal basic income (UBI) is regarded by some on the left as a response to the robotisation of the workforce, which it is feared could replace lower-skilled jobs and exacerbate inequality. It would be paid to everyone, whether or not they were in work.

 

Original article by Heather Stewart published in The Guardian.


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