Labour has commissioned a report into the cost of giving all working-age adults £70 a week, regardless of their wealth or behaviour. As an example, Michael Adebowale – who was jailed for 45 years for murdering soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 – could rack up £142,000 in the time he has left behind bars. Soham murderer Ian Huntley, who has more than half of his 40-year sentence left, would be on course for a handout of £84,000.
A paedophile serving 14 years could receive £50,000 and a rapist sentenced to five years in jail would be handed £18,000.
According to Labour’s proposal, the income would be payable to every legal resident and would be a “permanent right”.
This means that as well as covering criminals, taxpayers will also be forced to shell out for Britain’s top earners, including bankers and Premiership footballers.
Experts estimate the scheme could cost almost £200billion a year.
Mr McDonnell welcomed the report on universal basic income, which aims to “provide everybody with equal basic security”.
He said trials for some form of the payment will be set up in Liverpool, Sheffield and the Midlands if Labour wins the General Election.
Alec Shelbrooke, the Conservative Vice-Chairman, said the proposal “beggars belief”.
He added: “This utterly ludicrous plan shows why Labour can never be trusted to govern the country or our economy.”