[2021] Motion 22 Universal basic income pilot

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress notes:

i. growing poverty and inequality in the UK as a result of austerity policies in recent years

ii. cuts in funding to the benefits system directly affecting those working in the creative industries

iii. increasing insecurity across the creative sector due to the impact of Covid-19 and many creative workers being ineligible for pandemic-related support schemes

iv. the expansion of the gig economy in the sector, which has led to an erosion of workers’ rights and conditions

v. that universal credit has failed to address these issues

vi. that many creative workers have been doubly affected by precarious working in both the cultural sector and in other jobs taken to support a career in the arts.

Congress further notes:

a. Universal basic income (UBI) has been recognised by many economists as a simple and effective tool to reduce poverty.

b. UBI has the potential to improve the lives of those working in areas most exposed to precarious working, low wages or automation including the cultural sector.

c. UBI would give workers more bargaining power and ability to refuse exploitative work.

d. While issues of low pay and job insecurity are complex, UBI is one strategy that could help people in the creative sector.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

1. support establishing a UBI pilot in England to assess its effectiveness for artists and creative workers, being aware that there are currently different models of UBI being suggested

2. consider available research and co-ordinate input from unions to set up discussions where UBI can be explored as a potentially important part of future social policy.

Artists’ Union England


In paragraph 2, sub-paragraph a., add new sentence at end:
“Others have serious reservations based on its potential to drive down wages, increase precariousness, and undermine unions’ bargaining power.”

In sub-paragraph c., delete “would” and replace with “could”.

In paragraph 3, sub-paragraph 2., add to end:
“, including its impact on disabled people, costs and potential for knock-on cuts in other areas of social provision, and the alternative of fundamental reform of the social security system.”

Public and Commercial Services Union