Covid (Basic income) Question in Parliament (Caroline, please)

Caroline Lucas can ask this question in Parliament:

 “To beat CV19, medical imperatives must be given priority over commercial criteria. but everyone must feel economically secure.:

Mr Speake. I support the government’s ‘circuit breaker’ measures to try to halt the advance of CV 19, even though they will cause considerable hardship to those most vulnerable to the economic downturn. Those affected will only suffer far worse if drastic measures are not brought to bear now.

Nor d0 I criticise the Chancellor’s strenuous efforts to date. No one could have foreseen the precise course of the infection. But even though the Chancellor has had to revise the amount needed several times. there are still holes through which many fall.

Bu Mr. Speaker, there is a way in which ‘circuit breakers’. or whatever even harsher measures become necessary, could be made more tolerable, and certainly nearer to being comprehensive.

Will the chancellor please explore the option of giving everyone who submits a tax return. or a National Insurance number, a weekly sum of money. The Jobseekers Allowance could be rounded up, but the amount can be a different debate.

This sum will be automatically deducted from the next tax return. This puts the onus on the individual if they claim all or part. What, if anything, should happen to those who have not submillted a tax return could be decided later.

There are of course possible variations, This would still not be comprehensive, but it would reduce considerably the dependence on the  detailed arrangements currently in use, some of which the Chancellor intends to withdraw. Anyone still not covered ought to be able to apply.

By all means the Chancellor should cost such a scheme, but quite frankly he has no idea how much this pandemic is going to cast anyway.

At least this payment will allow maximum economic activity consistent with medical priorities.

That is offered as a base which Caroline can adapt as she thinks fit, It is of course an introduction of the universal basic income, but whether it is temporary or longer term is a debate for later.

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