Every Briton could get cash payments from the government amid fears the coronavirus crisis could leave millions of people without jobs.
The extraordinary move is being considered by ministers as the scale of the economic meltdown the country faces becomes clear - with warnings that 'social distancing' measures could see GDP slump by 20 per cent and the hospitality sector effectively disappear.
Boris Johnson suggested last night that a 'universal basic income' - or UBI - is among the options on the table to avoid families being plunged into poverty and mass unrest as UK plc grinds to a halt.
As the global chaos escalates, US president Donald Trump has put forward similar proposals to hand most Americans payments of $1,000.
Under the plans - part of a $1trillion rescue package - the cash would be distributed within weeks.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £350billion bailout earlier this week, made up of loans, grants and rate reliefs for businesses, earlier this week.
Individuals caught up in the turmoil will be able to get three-month mortgage holidays, and private renters will be protected from eviction.
However, while the PM said the package was 'unprecedented in peacetime', he has been warned that the government will need to go much further, with grim predictions that the coronavirus misery could last over a year.
The Treasury is looking at a range of options including amending the existing universal credit system, and hiking statutory sick pay.
Previous reports from fiscal groups have suggested UBI figures ranging from £48 a week to £1,000 per person a month. However, it would be hugely expensive and ministers would be allocating large sums to many people who are already quite well off.
More than 56,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government to implement the idea to provide them with 'home and food security' amid the ongoing crisis.
Earlier this week, the government's own OBR financial watchdog suggested that ministers should step in to pay utility bills for all Britons, or cancel council tax altogether.
The Resolution Foundation has has urged the government to create a new benefit that could pay a million of the most vulnerable workers two-thirds of their usual salaries.
Queues outside Sainsbury's in Hertford this morning as the coronavirus crisis causes chaos and panic across the country.
An empty commuter train between Sussex and London this morning, amid fears the capital is about to be put into lockdown
Some supermarkets have brought in special shopping hours for pensioners amid fears panic buying could cause shortages
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My view: The government should scrap National Insurance and reduce tax rate for workers to 15%. Utility bills should also be cancelled during this global crisis. I don't think millionaires should get the £1000 as I don't get why Boris Johnson is proposing that amount for every "Briton." The government should stop confusing the public, give the date the lockdown would take effect, so people can stock food and essential items at home. Boris Johnson is not consistent at all, one minute is announcing that people shouldn't panic-buy, then the next minute he says lockdown is imminent, common which is which.?