A group of 30 people are set to be paid £1,600 per month in what will be England’s first ever trial of a universal income scheme.
Over a period of two years, they will receive the monthly lump sum without any conditions while researchers monitor what effects the cash has on their lives.
The money will be given to 15 participants in Jarrow, south Tyneside, and 15 in East Finchley, north London.
They will be paid ‘without a requirement to work or to demonstrate willingness to work’.
Will Stronge, director of research at the think-tank Autonomy which is running the scheme, said the £1,600 figure was a ‘substantial’ amount.
Over a period of two years, they will receive the monthly lump sum without any conditions while researchers monitor what effects the cash has on their lives
He told The Guardian: ‘Universal basic income usually covers people’s basic needs but we want to see what effect this unconditional lump sum has on people’s mental and physical health, whether they choose to work or not.
‘Our society is going to require some form of basic income in the coming years, given the tumult of climate change, tech disruption and industrial transition that lies ahead.
‘This is why building the evidence base and public engagement now is so important, so the ground is well prepared for national implementation.’
Costing more than £1.6million to run, as well as the 30 recipients the project will also monitor the experiences of a control group who will not be paid anything.
Similar studies are already under way in countries such as the US, and last summer the Welsh Government launched a trial which pays £1,600 per month to more than 500 young adults leaving care.
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.’
She added: ‘Basic income has the potential to simplify the welfare system and tackle poverty in Britain.’