THE chairman of the Cowdenbeath Area Committee has proposed that Fife’s Universal Basic Income* (UBI) trial should be held in the Cowdenbeath area.

Councillor Mark Hood has made the proposal after news emerged that Fife Council were developing plans to host the first trial of its kind in the UK.

A Universal Basic Income pilot would see all residents getting a monthly payment from the state to spend on what they choose.

The revolutionary new approach to addressing inequality has a wide range of support from economists and politicians from the left and right.

A universal basic income is an income paid to individuals, as a right of legal residence, without means testing or requirements to work. The payment is non taxable and should be sufficient to cover basic needs.

Everyone who qualifies for the payment will receive it from birth till death. Having a basic income in place will provide a secure floor for people to build on rather than a safety net with holes so big many fall through.

Lochgelly and Cardenden councillor, Mr Hood, explained: "It’s crucial that we trial UBI in Scotland in the next few years.

"There are other pilots across Europe but we need a sizeable pilot in this country that gives the data needed to develop the policy further".

He added: "With an increasing number of jobs being automated we need to develop a new economic system that ensures the proceeds of this new technology are shared among everyone and not simply the wealthiest in society.

"Where a UBI has been implemented inequality has been addressed, health outcomes have improved and educational attainment has increased."

The local councillor explained why he thought the Cowdenbeath Area would be the ideal area to host a pilot: "For the pilot to be successful it should be in an area with a high percentage of social housing and where there was areas of high levels of deprivation and pockets of high wealth.

"The Cowdenbeath area is around the right size and social mix."