Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Petition Implement Universal Basic Income to give home & food security through Covid-19

The government should implement an immediate Universal Basic Income trial for all UK residents to ensure home and food security through the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis, to support the needs of those that need to self-isolate as well as the public health at large, and the wider economy.

More details

The Covid-19 crisis means there will be an impact on society. The scientific & medical measures needed are paramount. The economy is pivotal to the UK, but relief is needed for people as well as businesses.

Trialling a Universal Basic Income for all residents would give home and food security, allowing people to make the right decisions for their families and wider society, whilst also keeping money flowing through the economy.

Doing this will reduce pressures caused by acts of desperation.

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Parliament will consider this for a debate

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate

Waiting for 14 days for a debate date

Government responded

This response was given on 30 March 2020

The Government does not believe a Universal Basic Income is the best method to tackle the extraordinary situation resulting from COVID-19, because it does not target help to those who need it most.

Read the response in full

This Government has set out a substantial package of timely, targeted measures to provide financial assistance to people affected by COVID-19 and support the wider economy.

This includes:
• ensuring UK workers of any employer who is placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month;
• providing a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
• increasing the standard rate in Universal Credit and Tax Credits by £20 a week for one year from April 6th, meaning claimants will be up to £1040 better off per year;
• making Statutory Sick Pay available from day one for those who must stay at home on government advice;
• ensuring the self-employed can now access in full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees;
• ensuring those affected by COVID-19 can apply for Universal Credit and receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre; and
• providing nearly £1bn of additional support for renters, through increases in the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit. From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing.

These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Department for Work and Pensions.

Other parliamentary business

Petitions Committee questions Government on its response to coronavirus

We emailed people who had signed this petition by 16 March to ask for your questions about the Government’s response to coronavirus.

Thank you to everyone who sent us your questions: we received over 60,000.

We put the most requested questions to the Government Minister for Schools, the Minister for Disabled People and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. These included:

  • How long will schools be closed for and what will the impact be on exams and grades?
  • What financial support will be available for the self-employed?
  • What financial support will be offered to people who are unable to pay their rent or bills due to self-isolation or loss of work?
  • What support will be offered to the events, creative and hospitality industries now that pubs, clubs and cultural venues have been closed?
  • What clear, practical steps can people take to make sure they are following Government guidance on social distancing, household isolation and self-isolation?
  • Who is being tested and why, and will tests be made freely available to everyone?
  • What is the Government doing to ensure that everyone is getting the right information?

Watch the session on YouTube: https://youtu.be/aPLXJcZEfi8

Read the transcript: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/192/the-governments-response-to-coronavirus/publications/written-evidence/

Because of the large number of petitions that we continue to receive on coronavirus we have sent more questions to the Government to answer.

Read our letters to different Government Ministers: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/publications/3/correspondence/

Some of the questions we’ve asked include:

  • When will testing capacity will be increased; who will testing be available for and will it be free?
  • What is being done to tackle the spread of disinformation?
  • How quickly will support for self-employed people be made available?
  • What will happen to the school year? Will summer holidays be cancelled so that children can catch up?
  • How are foodbanks being supported to continue operating during the outbreak?
  • What is being done to address panic buying and prevent price hikes of key items?
  • Will trains, buses and flights continue to operate? For how long?

We’ll email you again to let you know when we get a response to these questions, and to let you know about any more action the Committee takes.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on petition.parliament.uk. We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website.

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions.

Further information

You can read impartial House of Commons Library information about coronavirus here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/coronavirus/

You can find out more about coronavirus and how you can protect yourself and others here:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

You can read NHS tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-tips

Tell us what you want to know about the Government's response to coronavirus

As the result of the large numbers of petitions and signatures we've received on coronavirus, we will be putting your concerns and questions directly to the Government at an evidence session (a question and answer session with representatives from the Government) in the coming days.

Tell us what question(s) you'd like us to the ask the Government and experts in this short survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/petitionscommittee/

We'll email you again to let you know more about the session, including when it's going to happen, who'll be taking part and how you can watch it live.

We will also email you a link to the video and a transcript of the session afterwards.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on petition.parliament.uk. We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website: http://www.parliament.uk/petitions-committee/role

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions

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