A universal basic income of £1,600 a month is to be trialled in England for the first time in a pilot programme.
Under the pilot programme, 30 people in two areas will be paid an unconditional lump sum each month for two years, with the participants observed to better understand the effects on their lives.
Two places in England have been selected for the micro pilot scheme, central Jarrow in north-east England and Grange, East Finchley in north London.
In the pilots, 15-30 people would receive £1,600 a month for two years.
Will Stronge, the director of research at the thinktank Autonomy, which is backing the plan, said: “This is a substantial amount. 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.”
Advocates argue that universal basic income (UBI) provides a level of economic security to everyone. It is also seen as a potential solution to insecurity in the labour market while others say it is expensive and support should be targeted.