Personal Income: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd April 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a universal basic income to offset any financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Stedman-Scott Baroness Stedman-Scott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

There are no current plans to introduce a universal basic income.

This Government has introduced unprecedented support for workers and businesses to protect them against the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80 per cent of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be backdated to 1 March and available for at least three months;
  • a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which will help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months;
  • deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June representing a £30 billion injection into the economy;
  • £330 billion worth of Government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses;
  • a strengthened safety net for the most vulnerable with over £6.5 billion invested into improving our welfare system for this year; and
  • more support for benefit claimants in the Private Rented Sector by increasing Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile, helping to alleviate affordability challenges.

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

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