In pandemic crisis: 71% of Europeans support universal basic income

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have substantially increased support among Europeans for radical solutions, according to a ground-breaking survey published today by a team led by leading Oxford academic, Professor Timothy Garton Ash.

The survey’s remarkable findings reveal that more than half (53%) of young Europeans think authoritarian states are better equipped than democracies to tackle the climate crisis. And some 71% of all those interviewed support the radical idea of a universal basic income – and no fewer than 84% are in favour of a mandatory minimum wage. In the UK, 68% support a universal basic income.

Professor Garton Ash says, ‘These striking results reveal remarkably positive attitudes across Europe to what was previously seen as a radical, if not utopian idea. But remarkable as well is the perception among the young that authoritarian governments may be best at handling climate change – combined with a reluctance, which the survey also reveals, to have governments ban anything they enjoy!’

These are among the findings of a survey designed by the Europe’s Stories research team, led by Professor Garton Ash at St Antony’s College, Oxford. It was conducted in March this year, as the pandemic was leading to lockdowns across Europe, by the highly-respected eupinions survey project of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

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