Welcome back to the Telecare Choice news roundup. This month, it has been announced that Wales will be trialling a universal basic income, women dominate the BRIT awards, and ancient Torlonia Marbles are found after decades.
Wales to Trial Universal Basic Income
While Wales is leading the UK in its piloting of a Universal Basic Income, the scheme has actually taken place permanently or temporarily in over 130 countries already – meaning the UK is rather behind the times.
A Universal basic income is a safety net for those who are unemployed or whose salary doesn’t make ends meet. It is meant to reduce the wealth gap and assure no one falls below the poverty line. Regardless of age, race, gender, education, or marital status. A Universal basic income can take shape in many forms. For example, Alaska has been providing its citizens with a ‘Permanent Fund Dividend’ since 1982. The dividend ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 a month and is based on gas prices at the time. It is a state-owned investment fund financed by oil revenues. Many countries have introduced a similar scheme, only for it to be cancelled when a more conservative government is elected.
Studies on Universal basic income have shown it makes residents happier and less stressed. Despite the scheme often being funded by governments, many have seen a return on their investment by healthier citizens, meaning fewer healthcare provisions, shrinking crime rates, and more high school and college graduates. These outcomes being a result of reduced poverty rates.
Disapproval of a Universal basic income normally comes from conservative governments. Wales’s own conservative party commenting, “Wales should not become a petri dish for failed left-wing policies”. Many of its critics argue a universal basic income does not reduce unemployment rates as their main stance against it. However, people in support of it see its benefits beyond employment. Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, sums the scheme up well as a “restoration of dignity.”
Women Dominate BRIT 2021 Awards
The BRITS 2021 has been hailed as the year of the women as 8 out of 12 categories are scooped up by female acts, with Dua Lipa winning album of the year. In her speech, Dua Lipa even asked for a pay rise for NHS nurses rather than a clap.
Many celebrate this year as a victory for gender equality, as award shows are known for being very male favourable. However, it comes after last year when out of 25 slots only 1 was won by a female act! The BRITS faced huge backlash for this, so it could be wondered if this year was to make up for their previous failings. However, all the ladies totally deserved their awards and we live in hope that the BRITS genuinely realised their mistakes and that talent in the music industry spans all genders.
Torlonia Marbles on View Again
The Torlonia are considered one of the world’s most important private collections of Greek-Roman classical art. The collection consists of 620 marble sculptures and for the first time since 1940s, the public will be able to marvel at their beauty again.
The statues were held in a private museum until 1976, where access was granted extremely rarely to experts or visiting dignitaries. When this closed, the museum was illegally turned into a block of apartments and the sculptures were piled higgledy-piggledy in a storage room left to collect dust. This is how David Willey saw the statues for the first time when he was living in an apartment in the former Torlonia museum and asked the building’s superintendent what lay behind a big steel door on his staircase.
The public is very eager to view the magnificent collection and before a permanent home is found for them in Italy, several of the marbles will be loaned to the Louvre, the British Museum, and to the US. For all the world to see.
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