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Technology replacing jobs won’t halt our working spirit

16 November 2017

Research shows almost half of Londoners would opt to remain in work rather than receive a Universal Basic Income

Should they find themselves replaced by machines in the workplace in the future, 49% of Londoners have indicated they would not be happy to stop working and have their income provided for via a Universal Basic Income scheme, a Museum of London commissioned survey has found.

Universal Basic Income is a form of social security in which all residents of a country receive a regular, unconditional sum of money from the government, regardless of any other income and in theory would ensure a reasonable standard of living for recipients. This year, Finland became the first European nation to begin trialling the scheme.

The YouGov conducted study also revealed that only slightly above half of Londoners (51%), would support the introduction of a Universal Basic Income scheme should it become possible for robots and machines to do their jobs.

These remarkable findings contradict any notion of Londoners being ‘lazy’ and further suggest that despite the negative outlook on technology replacing jobs in the future, Londoners are prepared to source alternative means of supporting themselves rather than relying on the government.

The survey was commissioned by the Museum of London as part of City Now City Future, the museums first ever year-long season of over 100 events, exhibitions, displays, debates and creative commissions exploring urban evolution in London and around the world.
Running until April 2018, City Now City Future aims to discover what it means to live in a truly global city, with more than half of the world’s population now residing in urban areas.

As part of the season visitors can also see the museum’s major exhibition The City is Ours, which looks at the challenges and opportunities of urban living through a range of digital and physical interactives, films and models. The exhibit is also the first ever at the museum to be presented in both English and French.

Foteini Aravani, Digital Curator at the Museum of London, said:

The YouGov survey commissioned by the Museum of London, gives us further insight into the mind-set of Londoners, it demonstrates the resilience and fortitude of the people of this vibrant city.

City Now City Future constantly asks; what does it truly mean to live in a global city? As we continue to look for answers and prepare for our move to West Smithfield, we are constantly challenging the role a museum should be playing in cities like London

Further information:


Notes for editors
For more press information please contact Leon Garwood, Media Officer at the Museum of London on 020 7001 9809 or [email protected].

YouGov Survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1048 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st August - 4th September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+).

About The Museum of London
The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all, and you can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added.