UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Universal Basic Services

Access to sufficient services to enable universal safety, opportunity and partification.

universal basic services

23 January 2022

Expanding universal access to basic services is the most effective way to bolster the public goods on which both society and the economy depend. The benefits such investment in social infrastructure brings are much greater than those targeted at individuals. What is clear is this: We can have a modern welfare state fit for the 21st century, and we can afford to pay for it. What remains now is a public debate about the validity and potential of the ideas we have on the table, so that we refine them, implement them, and generate the next set of ideas to fit the changing circumstances of sustainable prosperity for the UK today and for future generations.



Universal Basic Services (UBS) are a collection of 7 free public services that enable every citizen to live a larger life by ensuring access to safety, opportunity, and participation: TRANSPORT, FOOD, INFORMATION, LOCAL DEMOCRACY, HEALTH & CARE, SHELTER.

If we are to increase cohesion, the sense that we are ‘all in it together’ we must act where we can have the greatest impact and that is on the cost of basic living. 

— Professor Henrietta L. Moore, Founder & Director, Institute for Global Prosperity


The UK is wealthy, but for many people it is not prosperous. Our economy is failing to deliver for many people. Forces of anger and resentment have entered our politics, as a growing number of people are left behind. We have record numbers of people in poverty and over four million people regularly go a day without eating. How can we think more intelligently about how to make sure our economy makes people prosperous in a way we can afford?

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash