A group of 30 people could be given £1,600 each, every month for two years, to see what effect this has on their health. The money, called a “universal basic income” (UBI), would be given to them whether they are working or not.
People in Jarrow, in north-east England, and East Finchley, in London, will be chosen for the trial. The plan has been put forward by Autonomy, a research organisation that is working alongside charity Local Trust and researchers at Northumbria University.
They aim to study what impact a UBI has on people’s mental and physical health. Autonomy is now trying to raise money to pay for the scheme.
This resources pack includes an article from The Week Junior magazine, along with a sheet of activities designed to get children thinking, talking and writing about what the story means to them.
We all need money to live. But shouldn’t we have to earn it first? Isn’t it silly to hand out cash to people whether they need it or not? If people receive money without having to do any work to get it, won’t that mean that they simply won’t appreciate it or take care with it?
Or do you think that offering everyone a ‘universal basic income’ is an interesting idea that’s worth trying? Isn’t it terrible that here, in one of the richest countries in the world, there are still so many people who are very poor?
Isn’t it right to make sure that everyone has enough to live on and they can always find more work if they want more cash? What do you think?
Write a (pretend) letter to the Prime Minister, demanding to be given £1,600 every month and explaining what you will spend it on. You can be as serious or funny as you like but remember to use the conventions of a formal letter.
Think of something else that people should be given a fixed quantity of each month. It can be sensible (for example, fresh fruit) or silly (for example, tennis balls) but your challenge is to write a short, persuasive speech, telling the audience why it’s a good idea. Try using things like similes, metaphors and rhetorical questions to make your argument more interesting.
How much does it cost each month to live these days? Research average prices for renting a one-bedroom flat together with paying for food, electricity, water, phone and other essentials for one person. Set out your findings neatly and add them together to give a monthly total.
Find the entire series of Topical Tuesday resources to download in our Topical Tuesdays collection.
What is the Week Junior?
The Week Junior magazine looks at current affairs and helps children make sense of the world, provides context and clarity to complex issues, improves general knowledge and encourages discussion and debate.
To find out more about The Week Junior and to download its free resources, please go to The Week Junior website.