THIS week, with infection rates climbing ever higher, we’re bracing ourselves for a difficult winter ahead.

After years of austerity, many Glasgow families are wondering how they can survive the brutal economic impact of covid on top of everything else.

In one of the richest countries in the world, it is an absolute scandal that any family should be living in fear. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

This week at a Full Council meeting we voted for an idea that’s been Green policy for decades but whose time has most assuredly come – Universal Basic Income.

This is the idea that everyone – everyone! – would get an unconditional payment of money on a regular basis and it would be enough to cover your basic needs like food, shelter and heating.

A Universal Basic Income would provide stability against the menace of precarious work and zero hours contracts. It would virtually eliminate homelessnesss, period poverty, fuel poverty, all kinds of poverty.

Can you imagine how it would transform this city if nobody had to worry about where their next meal came from?

UBI would provide all our residents with dignity – a safe ship to ride the waves of uncertainty that Covid will continue to bring, as well as the storm of Brexit on the horizon.

Of course, there is no one panacea to poverty, but there is evidence from around the world that when the problem is a lack of money, the thing that alleviates that is a reliable income to cover your fundamental needs.

Scottish Greens would couple this with progressive taxation, so the richest people contributed a lot more to our common purse. So there’s no problem with a few people getting too much - and it’s much better to administer a universal service that’s the same for everyone with no invasive means testing and no horrific sanctions.

One argument against UBI is that it removes incentive to work. This is a pretty paternalistic and ableist view, but it’s also been proven not to be the case. As global UBI trials have shown, most people want to work, and in fact the security of UBI gives the power to turn down exploitation. People have more freedom to return to education or start new businesses, and employers scramble to attract workers with good pay and conditions. Why wouldn’t we want this?

Besides, people have value regardless of how their economic worth is measured. Unpaid care counts for nothing in GDP, but it’s absolutely priceless to the wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens. And as women do most of the caring, are more likely to work part time around responsibilities, and have been worst hit by austerity, a UBI would also be a huge leap forward for gender equality.

A Universal Basic Income is a Green idea that perhaps more than any single other measure could transform our city. And with the pandemic, Brexit and climate emergency all looming, the need for it to become reality has never been more clear.