We reproduce the following resolution moved by Rob Amos at the WPB members council meeting of 20 June 2020. After serious discussion of the arguments for and against the introduction of a universal basic income (UBI), the members council of the WPB passed the following motion.
Resolution on UBI
This 20 June meeting of the national Members Council of the Workers Party of Britain has discussed the question of a universal basic income, examined arguments for and against, and resolves as follows:
The Workers Party of Britain believes that unemployment is a disease of capitalism, and that our goal is a society with full employment guaranteed for those who are able to work. For those who are unable to work, society must provide a standard of living fit for our people. In the immediate term, the Workers Party of Britain is supportive of the TUC’s call for an earnings-related system.
The Workers Party of Britain is opposed to the current proposals for a universal basic income, which we believe will in reality be a continuation of the ongoing deterioration in the benefits system, consolidated under Michael Gove and renamed ‘universal credit’.
Our party is resolutely opposed to the further introduction of universal credit, and demands its abolition.
In the current circumstances our political priority is to fight for the abolition of universal credit and a return to the previous schemes, all of which should be reviewed in consultation with the trade unions. In this regard, the Workers Party of Britain associates itself with the recommendations made in April by the TUC:
“The government should move towards an earnings-related system. But as this cannot be implemented swiftly, it calls for ministers to urgently raise the basic level of universal credit for the duration of the outbreak to 80 percent of the real living wage – or £260 a week.”