15 July 2022

At a glance:

This report studies the prospects for implementing a basic income in Cornwall: one of the UK’s most disadvantaged regions, with high rates of poverty, inequality and insecure work. Working with researchers at the University of Exeter (Penryn), it assesses the current economic outlook of Cornwall, survey Cornish residents’ attitudes towards a basic income, review the existing evidence of basic income trials and produce recommendations for how Cornwall could implement a basic income trial.


With growing interest across the UK in the transfromative potential of basic income – and an ongoing pilot amongst young care leavers in Wales – this report shows how the policy could drastically reduce poverty rates in the region, and redress the ongoing consequences of inequality.


Key findings:

  • Cornwall is one of the most disadvantaged regions of the UK, with high rates of poverty, inequality and insecure work. 1 in 10 Cornish residents worried about not having enough food to eat.
  • Three models of basic income are modelled, providing insight into how these different levels of payment could impact poverty and inequality.
  • A basic income set at the level of a living wage could cut child poverty in Cornwall by 92% and substantially reduce inequality.
  • A more introductory basic income – at a much lower cost – could still almost halve poverty in Cornwall.
  • A basic income pilot in Cornwall could cost £40m.
    • A two-year pilot of 2000 people would cost about £40 million, with each adult participant being paid £213 a week.
  • Cornish stakeholders interviewed were optimistic about the prospect of a basic income.


James Muldoon

Qualitative Research

Luiz Garcia


Michael Dinata
Aric Driver
Oliver Evans
Michelle Gray
Katie McWilliam
Fatuma Mohamud
Jack Morris
India Onslow
Daniel Rowson
Imogen Sparks
Anna Treby
James Ward