Proposed universal basic income ‘micro pilot’ in England would provide £1,600 monthly payments to 30 participants in Jarrow and East Finchley

Community-led projects seeking funding to trial the payments over a two-year period before evaluating the impact on those taking part

A new report from the Autonomy think tank has set out proposals for a universal basic income 'micro pilot' in England that would provide £1,600 monthly payments to a test group of 30 participants in Jarrow and East Finchley.

In A big local basic income: Proposal for a locally-led basic income pilot, researchers outline proposals that have been designed following a two-year community consultation in Central Jarrow and the Grange area of East Finchley.

Highlighting that the pilot will differ from previous projects in the UK – where devolved governments have taken the lead, as in the 2020 feasibility study supported by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government’s care leaver basic income pilot – the researchers say that the new pilots will be locally led and that each area will need to raise its own funding from sources such as government-funded research councils, third-sector funders, philanthropic organisations and/or local authorities.

Key features of the proposals include –

  • payments of £1,600 a month for two years would be paid to 15 people in each area;
  • researchers will then work with participants to understand the difference that the payments made to their lives;
  • a control group would also be recruited who would not receive the basic income payments but would be assessed as part of the pilot evaluation;
  • the pilot would cost around £1.15 million for the basic income payments and around £500,000 for research and administration costs; and
  • the results of the research will be used to make the case for a national basic income and more comprehensive trials to fully understand the potential of a basic income in the UK.

Director of Research at Autonomy Will Stronge said –

'A guaranteed basic income could be transformative for welfare in this country.

All the evidence shows that it would directly alleviate poverty and boost millions of people’s wellbeing: the potential benefits are just too large to ignore.

With the decades ahead set to be full of economic shocks due to climate change and new forms of automation, basic income is going to be a crucial part of securing livelihoods in the future.'

Cleo Goodman, co-founder of Basic Income Conversation – that supports the promotion of a basic income and is hosted by Autonomy – 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.

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

For more information, see A big local basic income: Proposal for a locally-led basic income pilot from