Mayor agrees that a universal basic income is ‘worth exploring’

The Mayor cautiously agreed with me today that a universal basic income was ‘worth exploring’ to help Londoners hit hard by coronavirus, and for people who traditionally work in unpaid roles – such as those raising families.

I also asked the Mayor if he supports the idea of a four-day working week. The Mayor said this was an: “interesting idea especially in the context of economic recovery from the pandemic… Employers need to support a wide range of flexibilities.”

The Government’s furlough scheme is winding up next month, and with the ban on evictions for renters also ending, Sian is extremely worried about the 500,000 London renters who have indicated they have not been able to, or soon will not be able to, pay their rent.

A universal basic income would take some pressure off people struggling with making ends meet as furlough ends and further waves of unemployment are expected.

Today I said:

“Londoners, and young Londoners especially, are so vulnerable to the financial storms of the coronavirus crisis. We are a city of renters, of people in precarious work, and we need more secure and resilient support from Government.

“I’m glad the Mayor is open to exploring a universal basic income and recognises that the current system of support for people who need a safety net is more holes than net.

“He is also open to discussing a four-day working week where, since 2019, I have been proposing that the GLA leads the way. I hope the Mayor keeps listening to my ideas for a more secure, resilient and sustainable future, because we know that business as usual will not be enough to help Londoners weather this storm.”

Watch my questions here: