The Basic Income Conversation is wrapping up for the year. We are excited to rest, and bring you a new year of conversations and movement for basic income in the UK. This starts with our seminar on the 17th January: Basic Income and our mental health. To join us there follow this link.
Not to point out the painfully obvious, but 2022 has been an undeniably hard year in the latest of a string of heavy, difficult years.
The push and pull between where we are and where we so desperately want and need to be was stretched to the extreme this year.
Economically, it is now undeniable that the way this country operates is punishing, alienating, and inhumane for far too many.
For our movement, it’s a trying time because we have new questions to answer. What does basic income look like in the current climate? With inflation, political upheaval, and environmental disaster?
How do we implement a long-term, universal, guaranteed policy to ensure security for all when each of those principles seem the opposite of everything our country is pursuing?
Despite that, and because of it, the campaign for a universal basic income moved on leaps and bounds this year.
Globally, there are groundbreaking pilots in Ireland, Catalonia, and America. The Irish Artists pilot is supported by every political party. The Catalonian pilot is one of the first genuine geographic, “saturation” pilots in Europe, giving everyone in the community a basic income to test effects for a cross section of a community rather than a targeted group. In America, there are now more than 100 pilots — and the first started just 4 years ago.
Closer to home, people in the UK are now receiving a basic income for the first time. 500 care leavers in Wales are entering a basic income pilot each month over the year. They will receive £1600 a month for the first two years of their adult life.
This year saw record support for basic income — with a broader coalition of supporters than ever before across politics and civil society.
At the Conversation, we’re pretty proud of what we have achieved in 2022.
We’ve published reports and resources on:
- The case for funding a basic income through sovereign money
- The findings from our crowdfunded basic income demonstration in London
- A digest of the spring budget
- Tackling Poverty: the power of a universal basic income a report that shows how a low level basic income could bring poverty down to record lows
- Winning the vote with a universal basic income, a paper backed by politicians from across the “Red Wall”
- Every recorded session from the world’s biggest basic income conference that we co-hosted last August
We’ve organised from the grassroots and across civil society to make sure everyone has a say in the movement towards a basic income for all:
- Supporting communities to lead consultations in their local area and develop proposals for micro-pilots that show how their neighbourhood could thrive with a basic income
- Instigating door knocking activities to reach people who have never heard of a basic income
- Coordinating an open letter to the Prime Minister co-signed by 285 politicians and civil society leaders calling on him to set up a task force on basic income and implement pilots in all four nations
- Helping people across London write letters to their London Assembly members asking them to support a motion in support of a London basic income pilot.
- Seminars with the likes of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Autonomy
- A panel session with Autonomy at The World Tranformed 2022 in Liverpool alongside the Labour conference with Mayors Andy Burnham and Jamie Driscoll and Beth Winter MP
- An episode on the Compass podcast, It’s Bloody Complicated — The Welsh Basic Income pilot — The What, How and Why with Jonathan Williams.
- Helping host the Basic Income North conference and contributing to the People’s Powerhouse convention in Manchester.
- Welcoming key speakers, dozens of people and making front page news with our event with Basic Income Network Scotland in Edinburgh
- And of course Basic Income Conversations, bringing hundreds of people together for this crucial conversation!
We’re not looking to stop anytime soon. We look forward to growing this conversation with you next year.