Mumsnet Logo
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:

PieceOfMaria · 19/03/2020 12:07

Okay this is a useful debate because it’s helping me understand why it’s given to everyone regardless of means, even if on the face of it that doesn’t make sense. Thank you.

If this was AIBU I’d be saying okay, IABU. 😂

OP posts:

Kazzyhoward · 19/03/2020 12:07

The Great British Public has repeatedly shown it hates taxing high earners

That's in normal times - most sensible people know that we're in unchartered territory. In normal times, people wouldn't accept shops, GP surgeries and schools being closed either!

The virus is going to absolutely cripple economies all around the World. Those who have secure incomes or who are rich will have to put their hands in their pockets


tegucigalpa13 · 19/03/2020 12:07

Means testing is cumbersome.

If paid to all it could be taxed and repaid in full or in part by all those who
do not need it.


Pickles89 · 19/03/2020 12:08

I'm self employed. Everyone has cancelled me for the next 6 weeks at least. I just want to cry.


diddl · 19/03/2020 12:09

Would it not have to be claimed?

It's surely not just going to appear in all tax payers bank accounts is it?


InASense · 19/03/2020 12:09

The thing is though, when the economy tanks the people with money and savings usually hold on to them.

They get scared.

Scared people tend to stop getting the windows cleaned. They put off getting the driveway paved. They go longer between hair appointments. They decide to hold of decorating. They start waxing their own legs.

There is a whole heap of people depending on the disposable income of "the middle classes".

I completely agree with you, OP.

The absolute best thing the gov could do, would be to put it onto a pre-payed card that reset at the end of every month.

That way nobody could just stick it into savings. They'd HAVE to spend it, and stimulate the economy.

The people struggling would spend it on food and basic necessities. The people not struggling would spend it on those "middle class" things I mentioned above, thus ensuring lots of small businesses continue to have working coming in, and don't go under.

I would much rather see money being invested this way, than the stupid "trickledown economics" we had to suffer through the last recession.

I think the last recession is going to look like a walk in the park compared to this depression.


Blewbell · 19/03/2020 12:10

It cost time and money and a support structure that helps people apply. It's just going to have to be handed out.


Xenia · 19/03/2020 12:11

I think they won't go for it as where it has been tested it has failed and it is very expensive. I certainly wouldn't mind getting it. I am self employed and if I don't work I don't get paid. If tenants don't have to pay rent for 3 months my sons who eat off that rent and have no mortgage would not have any money from that source so they could use it too. My grocery delivery son is presumably at the busiest ever and could certainly do with the money as wages are not high etc etc.

However on balance I think they would be better off concentrating on keeping people at work.


musicposy · 19/03/2020 12:12

I’m not quite sure how you’d means test it. We look fine on paper, about 40k between us, too much for benefits. But DH has just been laid off his job in the airline industry (we are hoping temporarily) and may be unpaid for a few months or who knows how long. I’m self employed and currently too unwell to work (with a nasty bug that may or may not be CV), and I suspect by the time I recover the work will have dried up.

So potentially zero income here. So what would they means test it on?DH hasn’t officially lost his job yet, just “don’t come in at the moment”. But if they take up until this point we won’t look as though we need it.


TaggieOHara · 19/03/2020 12:13

This would be a great idea

They could do what they do with child benefit and make ineligible people who have claimed pay it back via the tax return system.


Imonlydoingwhatican · 19/03/2020 12:14

We will be hit, i get tax credits as im a carer for my son. And been told today that they will continue to pay for 8 weeks at current rate when we go intonself isolation this weekend. However we wont get husband wage. And will have to apply for uc so wiping out tc. All we will have for weeks is carers and child benfit. And possibly ssp but dh work dont usally pay it. So ive no idea how we are going to survive .


SonjaMorgan · 19/03/2020 12:14

I assumed they would be using tax codes. I have closed my business for the foreseeable future. I don't think I have quite taken in what is happening yet.


alloutoffucks · 19/03/2020 12:14

It will be because means testing is expensive.
Could we encourage those who don't need it to give to charity?


DGRossetti · 19/03/2020 12:14

The virus is going to absolutely cripple economies all around the World. Those who have secure incomes or who are rich will have to put their hands in their pockets

Surely not. There must be a way to get the poor to pay ? We managed it once with "austerity". I hope we already have our brightest and best working on it as we speak (after all they're fuck all use as scientist or doctors anyway). And when this is all over, the ultra rich, super rich and even plain old rich around the world will need somewhere to stash the cash they managed to hideaway during this.

What can't the UK become the home - the natural home - of the worlds wealthy elite again ?

Let's hear it for the good old days !

(I might not be being 100% serious .....)


BarbedBloom · 19/03/2020 12:14

Rishi talked about this the other day during the enquiries regarding business specifically. He said putting barriers in place makes things immediately more complex and require a higher number of staff to wade through all the different circumstances. He said it is much more straightforward to just offer something to everyone. In addition, things can change for people so having barriers means that you may then have to review this later, which again makes everything harder and takes away valuable time when they could be looking at something else


Strawberrypancakes · 19/03/2020 12:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Curiosity101 · 19/03/2020 12:15

I worry about this... unless they take it back out of the economy via some sort of tax then isn't this the same as printing money and likely to do more damage than anything else?

If it was somehow means-tested that would make a lot more sense and have a big impact for those that need it, but not with mass inflation. Although it'd need to be means-tested as incomings vs outgoings. There could be people with large mortgages for example who were just getting by - but if one of them gets made redundant they could end up really really stuck.


PatriciaBateman · 19/03/2020 12:16

Means testing might actually cost the government more than just giving it to everybody. (I'm pretty sure this is one of the main arguments for a Universal Wage permanently).

All the layers of admin, policing, appeals. The buildings and IT support, the offices and office supplies. The people required to run it all. Enormously expensive, and wasted resources for nothing actually productive in return.


alloutoffucks · 19/03/2020 12:17

@xenia You are always saying on here that you earn a very large salary and owned a private island. Why on earth do you need money from the government? Surely you have some savings?


DGRossetti · 19/03/2020 12:17

Also, didn't this government have an incredible grasp of the countries economics and the "economically inactive" people it knew should be working ?

Should just be a case of dot-joining. Unless they were spouting bollocks.


alloutoffucks · 19/03/2020 12:18

@Strawberrypancakes Why would a sixth former get it? They are still in school.


DGRossetti · 19/03/2020 12:18

I worry about this... unless they take it back out of the economy via some sort of tax then isn't this the same as printing money and likely to do more damage than anything else?

What do you think they've been doing these past 12 years to support the banks ? "Quantitive easing" is just that. Only harder to spell.


Therollockingrogue · 19/03/2020 12:19

In areas of the UK hit badly by flooding, there are cafes, salons etc that have been out of business since the beginning of the year, really devastated areas. Self employed people who have maxed out every scrap of personal credit available and are seriously on the bones of their arse. Hand to mouth is an understatement. With extraordinary resilience, they moved hell and earth to reopen after the floods. We all saw the pictures of communities knee deep in raw sewage and ruined items. These people already have nothing . ZERO.
And who will shovel shit and sewage now, in a global pandemic?More flooding would be not only a massive public health emergency now, but a killer. So if you think you’re alright and won’t need it, please please please I BEG you all
not to hinder the process for those communities that do.


Xiaoxiong · 19/03/2020 12:19

I think it's a great idea. If you don't need it, donate it, use it to buy stuff, hire someone to do something so they have more income. It would also take away so much anxiety and fear which has to be a good thing at this point in time.

If you make people apply for it, then you need to process those applications and inevitably some people won't be able to get their heads round the application process, miss the deadline, etc. Better to make it universal and automatic and paid for by higher taxes in the future.


halcyondays · 19/03/2020 12:20

If you don’t need it, donate it to someone or a charity.
They’ll be thinking that people who don’t need it will spend money which boosts the economy.

How long do you think it would take them to means test all they people who will all be applying now? And in the meantime they would be left with nothing.

Please create an account

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

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?