GIVING everyone in Oxford a monthly cash handout is on the agenda for Oxford City Council tonight.

The city council is due to debate whether or not Oxford should apply to become a pilot area to test a Universal Basic Income.

A motion for debate, tabled by Lib Dem councillor Stef Garden, says UBI is 'an opportunity to revolutionise a welfare system that is no longer fit for purpose.'

Her motion, backed by the council's Lib Dem opposition leader Andrew Gant, also says that the Bank of England is predicting unemployment rates of 7.7 per cent for next year, and that a guaranteed small pot of money coming in from the public purse each month would help to alleviate poverty and boost consumer confidence.

Opponents of UBI often argue that it would give unemployed people less incentive to look for work.

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Ms Garden's motion added: "It’s a monthly grant sufficient to contribute to the basic needs of food, shelter and education. It is a fair way of eliminating poverty, guaranteeing a minimum standard of living, and improving well-being.

"It helps the local economy by providing stability and security; allowing people to thrive rather than just survive."

It is unclear whether the Labour majority council is likely to back the call for UBI trial, which involves writing to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy asking for Oxford to be considered.

But in other parts of country, Labour-run councils in Hull and Sheffield have given their backing to similar calls to trial UBI in their patches, while in Scotland councils are researching the scheme.