People could be paid £1,600 a month for Universal Basic Income

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People could be paid £1,600 a month with no obligations to do anything to receive the funds, as part of trial of a Universal Basic Income.

The two-year trial would involve 30 participants from central Jarrow, in north east England, and East Finchley, in north London.

Anyone from the two areas can put themselves forward for the trial and take part anonymously.

Analysts from think tank Autonomy are working to secure funds for the programme, and they will also examine how the project changes the lives of those who take part.


A universal basic income is set up so the Government pays everyone a set salary regardless of their situation, to cover the basic needs of life.

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Autonomy said it hopes the trial will help make the case for a national basic income and for more pilot schemes to understand how it could work.

Cleo Goodman, co-founder of Basic Income Conversation, said: “We’re hopeful that this plan will result in the first ever Basic Income pilots in England.

“No one should ever be facing poverty, having to choose between heating and eating, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

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“Basic income has the potential to simplify the welfare system and tackle poverty in Britain.”

A similar scheme is taking place in Wales where more than 500 care leavers are receiving a basic income of £1,600 a month over three years.

Care leavers are young people moving out of the care system, such as a children’s home or being in foster care.

With the £1,600 a month basic income, a person would have a basic yearly income of £19,200.

This is more than a person would get if they were on the National Living Wage. The current rate for the National Living Wage for a person aged 23 and over is £10.42 an hour, or around £1,500 a month if they worked 35 hours a week.

The basic income figure is also well above the monthly standard allowance payments for Universal Credit, a benefit which is received by millions of working age Britons on low incomes.

These are the current monthly standard allowance rates:

  • Single under 25: £292.11
  • Single 25 or over: £368.74
  • Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51
  • Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82.

It would also be more than the current income top up from Pension Credit, which is available to people of state pension age on low incomes.

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Pension Credit tops up a person’s weekly income to £201.05 a week for single claimants and up to £306.85 a week for couples.

A person has to have reached the state pension age, or about to reach this age, which is currently 66, to claim the benefit.

They do not need to be claiming their state pension to get the support, which can top up a household’s income by more than £3,500 a year.

For the latest personal finance news, follow us on Twitter at @ExpressMoney_.

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