UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Professor Moore signs Build Back Better statement

9 July 2020

Along with over 350 organisations, Professor Henrietta L. Moore has signed the #BuildBackBetter statement calling for a new settlement that protects vital public services, repairs inequalities, creates good jobs and prepares us for the climate emergency.

Build Back Better image

The Build Back Better campaign calls for a new deal that protects public services, tackles inequality in communities, provides secure well-paid jobs and creates a shockproof economy which can fight the climate crisis. Part of the campaign involved polling by NEF indicating that only 6% want to go back to the same old economy from before the crisis. Instead people want to build back stronger, greener and fairer. 

The campaign asks how to ensure health, social care, housing and other vital public services are properly resourced and able to meet our future needs, how to mend the inequalities in our society so that everyone, no matter their background or race, can live a decent, fulfilling life and how not just to build our resilience to future pandemics, but to tackle the climate and environmental emergency already upon us.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, research conducted at the IGP in East London with citizen scientists identified secure livelihoods as essential for improving people’s quality of life and capacities and capabilities to respond to change. More recently, our research has shown how local communities are well placed to address the needs and conditions to achieve this.

Recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and moving forward, we will require more innovative and transformative strategies that are locally-situated and coordinated, include local government and community stakeholders, and take into account the complexities of each place. This makes the need for a serious reformulation of the tax and benefits system most urgent. Such a reformulation must be consistent with a renewed industrial strategy that is adapted to the challenges of livelihoods insecurity, social care and climate emergency beyond our generation.

Our proposed extended system of Universal Basic Services is both a transformative and economically feasible pathway to reinforce the capacities and capabilities of individuals and communities to respond and adapt to the current Covid-19 crises and subsequent ones. UBS would be funded by a progressive tax regime and able to reach and improve people’s day-to-day lives – through the provision of free social housing, free public transport, free social care, free internet – it would have the ability to reduce people’s cost of living and improve their wellbeing in much more effective, inclusive and sustainable ways.

You can read more about IGP’s latest research on rethinking prosperity in a post-Covid-19 world on the Seriously Different website and watch our Post-Covid Live series where Professor Henrietta L. Moore addresses the nature of society, the kind of government and the form of economy we will need and want after the crisis. To learn more about IGP’s work on Secure Livelihoods and Universal Basic Services, see our publications page. 

Image credit: Build Back Better campaign