January 31, 2017

Basic income finding support in Europe

Truth Out - Universal basic income is emerging as a realistic policy position across Europe. Local authorities across the Netherlands are currently running trials to award every citizen unconditional money from the state. And this year, Finland started an experiment of 2,000 randomly selected people, all of whom currently receive out of work benefits.

The first monthly payments of  $590 were paid into those people's accounts within the last week, and the trial will examine the impact of that money on overall employment. Now, sweeping further to the west, plans are underway to establish basic income in the Scottish councils of Glasgow and Fife, revealing a groundswell of interest that is sweeping the continent.

The proposal for universal basic income has been discussed for a very long time, starting with the 16th century political philosopher Thomas More in his book "Utopia." More recently, trials have been undertaken including an 18-month experiment in India in 2011, whose results suggest the strategy both improved the quality of people's lives and stimulated positive economic activity.

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