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Make Poverty History: Support the European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income

basic income posterStand up for Basic Income as a human right. Before January 14, 2014, one million statements of support are required for the European Commission to examine this initiative and arrange for a public hearing in the European Parliament. Please sign the petition here

Basic income

Reasons to Support Basic Income (from http://basicincome.org.uk)

1) Basic Income will help us rethink how & why we work

A basic income can help you do other work and reconsider old choices: It will enable you to retrain, safe in the knowledge that you’ll have enough money to maintain a decent standard of living while you do. It will therefore help each of us to decide what it is we truly want to do.

2) Basic Income will contribute to better working conditions

With the insurance of having unconditional basic income as a safety net, workers can challenge their employers if they find their conditions of work unfair or degrading.

3) Basic Income will downsize bureaucracy

Because a basic income scheme is one of the most simple tax / benefits models, it will reduce all the bureaucracy surrounding the welfare state thus making it less complex and costly, while being fairer and more emancipatory.

4) Basic income will make benefit fraud obsolete

As an extension of (3), benefit fraud will vanish as a possibility because no one needs to commit fraud to get a basic income: it is granted automatically. Moreover, an unconditional basic income will fix the threshold and poverty trap effects induced by the current means-tested schemes.

5) Basic income will help reducing inequalities

A basic income is also a means for sharing out the wealth produced by a society to all people thereby reducing the growing inequalities across the world.

6) It will provide a more secure and substantial safety net for all people

Most existing means-tested anti-poverty schemes exclude people because of their complexity, or because people don’t even know how to apply or whether they qualify. With a basic income, people currently excluded from benefit allowances will automatically have their rights guaranteed.

7) Basic Income will contribute to less working hours and better distribution of jobs

With a basic income, people will have the option to reduce their working hours without sacrificing their income. They will therefore be able to spend more time doing other things they find meaningful. At the macroeconomic level, this will induce a better distribution of jobs because people reducing their hours will increase the jobs opportunities for those currently excluded from the labor market.

8) Basic Income will reward unpaid contributions

A huge number of unpaid activities are currently not recognized as economic contributions. Yet, our economy increasingly relies on these free contributions (think about wikipedia as well as the work parents do). A Basic Income would recognise and reward theses activities.

9) Basic Income will strengthen our Democracy

With a minimum level of security guaranteed to all citizens and less time in work or worrying about work, innovation in political, social, economic and technological terms would be a made more lively part of everyday life and its concerns.

10) Basic Income is a fair redistribution of technological advancement

Thanks to massive advancements in our technological and productive capacities the world of work is changing. Yet most of our wealth and technology is as a consequence of our ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’: We are wealthier not as a result of our own efforts and merits but those of our ancestors. Basic income is a way to civilize and redistribute the advantages of that on-going advancement.

11) Basic Income will end extreme financial poverty

Because we live in a world where we have the means (and one hopes, the will) to end the kinds of suffering we see as a supposedly constant feature of our surroundings. Basic income is a way to join together the means and the will.

Sign the petition at basicincome2013.eu

About Ruth Jacobs (243 Articles)
Ruth Jacobs is the author of Soul Destruction: Unforgivable, a novel exposing the dark world and harsh reality of life as a drug addicted call girl. The main storyline is based loosely on events from her own life. In addition to fiction writing, Ruth is also involved in non-fiction, journalism and broadcasting for charity and human rights campaigning.

4 Comments on Make Poverty History: Support the European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income

  1. Basic income would also greatly reduce and maybe even eliminate the plague of sex trafficking, since it is mostly women who are poor and therefore vulnerable to being pressed into prostitution.

  2. Basic income would help greatly reduce poor women’s vulnerability to being pressed into prostitution and help put traffickers out of business.

  3. Reblogged this on Soul Destruction and commented:

    Basic Income should be a human right. Before January 14, 2014, one million statements of support are required for the European Commission to examine this initiative and arrange for a public hearing in the European Parliament. Please sign the petition at http://basicincome2013.eu/.

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Chris Arnade’s ‘Faces of Addiction’ & the Case for Basic Income and the Decriminalisation of Drugs and Prostitution | Ruth Jacobs

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