My feed

to access all these features

NHS Coronavirus information. Information from Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have health concerns, please seek medical attention.

Related: Lockdown Learning, discuss home schooling during lockdown.


An Emergency Universal Salary paid to all...

291 replies

PieceOfMaria · 19/03/2020 11:27

Regardless of means.

The idea currently being mooted the government.

I have an issue with this, or at least with elements of it. I don’t need the money. My DHs industry may well be impacted in the long term like everybody’s, but in the short to medium term he can WFH and is being paid in full and that’s pretty unlikely to change due to the nature of his sector. Plus we have ample savings.

Plenty of people including many retired people on comfortable pensions with relatively few outgoings won’t need the money. People who already exist entirely on benefits could argue that they need more money, but they can’t really argue that the CV crisis has left them much worse off than they already were, with the possible exception of those whose children were getting free school meals and now won’t be.

The people who will REALLY REALLY need the money are most self employed people whose work will dry up overnight. Low to middle income working people who were only just managing to keep the plates spinning anyway and now must be feeling sick with worry about their finances. Many household name firms will potentially go under because of this. People who work in small businesses and services that are dependent on footfall and face to face interaction are extremely vulnerable right now and will be losing their jobs as we speak. Airline staff are now facing redundancy or long periods of unpaid leave.

I don’t want any money Boris. Please, please means test this, so there is more to go around for those who are genuinely going to struggle within weeks or even days. I’m not one of them. There will be hundreds of thousand of people who can say hand on heart that they are not one of them either.

OP posts:
MephistophelesApprentice · 19/03/2020 11:33

That's a very positive, honest and selfless perspective. However, I think they three government is going to be focusing on the shed and efficiency with which such a drastic solution could be implemented. Means testing will take time and might accidentally miss out those who are in genuine need. Probably safer, in the short-term, to make it universal.

Herja · 19/03/2020 11:36

I agree. I'm on tax credits and a student loan. I don't need it.

I do think that the speed it needs rolling out would mean means testing just won't work.

Mrhodgeymaheg · 19/03/2020 11:37

Very kind of you to refuse it, but if I were you I would give it to a working family who are in trouble and that way you will know it has done some good. Hopefully those in a similar situation to you will follow suit. I'm sure they may have relatives who might need the money.

AliBear90 · 19/03/2020 11:37

Is this a thing they’re actually considering? It could be a huge relief for us. DH worked at carphone and as they’re all closing will be unemployed in the next few weeks. And I’ve been so worried about what we’re going to do for money, with a baby too. I’m a nurse and can work extra but I also want to be able to have time with my baby.

DonnaDarko · 19/03/2020 11:37

I think means testing will take too long, it's one of the barriers that slows down and reduces the take up of benefits.

I think it would be best if they offered it to everyone, but you then had the option to opt out, or pay it back later.

Deux · 19/03/2020 11:37

Universal would be quicker and faster and speed is more Important right now. I think you underestimate the complexity and time scale required to create a fair for all system.

You can always donate yours?

ScatteredMama82 · 19/03/2020 11:38

I thought this too. We don't need it either. If it comes, I think we'll give to charities helping those most in need, foodbanks and the like.

Maxhiggins · 19/03/2020 11:38

Agreed, we don't need the money and touch wood both mine and OH jobs are fairly safe

Cornettoninja · 19/03/2020 11:39

I see the logic in not wasting time and resources in means testing.

If you really don’t need it there are plenty of places it can be donated to that are still trying to provide support to vulnerable people during this time.

TheQueef · 19/03/2020 11:40

A UBI is deliberately not means tested but I understand where you are coming from.
Hopefully there will be an opt out but for this crisis it just needs paying.

For .I utopia after you can opt to not collect Grin

Dissimilitude · 19/03/2020 11:41

There's a reason some benefits are not means tested.

Universality of the benefit builds support. Most people resent things that they don't get, and if something is universal (like child benefit used to be), it buys support for the people it's really targeted at.

Additionally, means testing slows implementation, and costs money to do. Sometimes means testing the benefit is more costly than making it universal (though not likely in this case).

Lastly, if they did this universally, I suspect the aim is not just to help those struggling the most, but to provide a stimulus to the economy as a whole.

I don't need it, but if I got it, I'd almost certainly spend it on something. if everyone did that, it's good for the economy as a whole.

NewYearNewTwatName · 19/03/2020 11:41

MephistophelesApprentice I was thinking the same. Too much time to do means test.

OP if it comes to it and you are given this emergency salary you could pass it on to a charity working with recently unemployed or struggling families, or the local food bank, who maybe able to distribute it or buy food with it.

BonnesVacances · 19/03/2020 11:42

I think it would be up to people's consciences as to whether they claimed this or not. Most people I'd hope would recognise it wasn't designed for them and leave it for others.

Andthenanothercupoftea · 19/03/2020 11:42

Means testing will make it cost more and add more uncertainty. They could potentially add an opt out?
However having extra cash sloshing around will help us bounce back as people who don't need it now might use it to book holidays or have work done on their houses when this is all over.

PieceOfMaria · 19/03/2020 11:42

I realise that proper means testing would take too long but I think they should put the onus on people to apply for it and appeal to those who can honestly say they are not in any need to refrain from applying. That would be the decent thing to do and it allows those who need it to have a bit more.

OP posts:
gamerchick · 19/03/2020 11:44

Nobody would force you to keep it. Donate it somewhere if you don't want it.

I also heard that the self employed could be paid a lump based on the previous years earnings. Does anyone know anything about that or is it probable bull?

BonnesVacances · 19/03/2020 11:45

It's a great idea to claim and if you don't need it, to spend it on things to support other people and industries.

TillyTheTiger · 19/03/2020 11:47

We don't need it for ourselves, but could spend it on supporting those local businesses that are open but struggling to stay afloat - lots of local restaurants are doing takeaway service now, local exercise and toddler classes are moving online etc.

TooTrueToBeGood · 19/03/2020 11:49

I'm in the same fortunate position as you OP and totally agree with you. If i do get any handouts they'll be going to the foodbank or other appropriate charities.

PieceOfMaria · 19/03/2020 11:50

One would force me to take it gamer but unfortunately the nature of most people is that if it was deposited into their account they would not donate it or give it back. I’d like to appeal to people’s better nature but I don’t hold out much hope on that score. I see that full means testing is impractical but they surely have to have some sort of basic system in place whereby they can make sure that (for example) people in the higher tax bracket wouldn’t automatically get it? Then if any of those people were able to demonstrate need based on being very highly geared and working in a vulnerable industry they could apply and be given it anyway. They may struggle to not go overdue on their B W finance but they are hardly going to have empty food cupboards and no money to put petrol in their car are they?

OP posts:
mrsm43s · 19/03/2020 11:50

Presumably it would boost the economy? Those who don't need it to survive or because they've lost income due to CV will have surplus funds to spend to help businesses on the road to recovery.

I don't know enough about economics to know if its the right idea or not,but I can certainly see how it could have some benefits.

GrumpyHoonMain · 19/03/2020 11:51

You don’t want this means tested necessarily because it’s the self-employed (those earning enough to employ people) who need it the most

PieceOfMaria · 19/03/2020 11:52

BMW finance

OP posts:
Thisismytimetoshine · 19/03/2020 11:52

Oh, really, just donate it rather than trying to throw glitches into the system. They won’t have time to deal with people earnestly trying to explain why they don’t need it, well meaning though it might be.
Chuck it at the food bank, why wouldn’t you?!

Therollockingrogue · 19/03/2020 11:53

Listen , so you don’t want it that’s fine.
But asking for it to be means tested blah blah blah goes against the point . Means testing it will waste a lot of resources that could simply be handed out as hard cash. If you don’t want it, donate your portion to someone who you feel needs extra.
Don’t turn a good idea into a big fiasco by your do gooder ways , otherwise we’ll end up with a modified version of the dreadful universal credit system and we’ll all be in the shit.
Universal basic income , perfect. BRING IT ON.
Fucking Nora typical mumsnet.
"I don’t need my portion, I have loads of money..I think I should waste my morning arguing against it so other people don’t get it either"

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.