More Dutch cities may join Utrecht in experimenting with basic income.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Basic Income
Other Dutch cities may join Utrecht in experimenting with a ‘basic income’ to replace the current complicated system of taxes, social security benefits and top-up benefits:
In June, Utrecht city council announced plans to launch trials of the new system after the summer holidays together with researchers from Utrecht University. Now Tilburg has similar plans and aims to run a four-year trial, the FD says.
Groningen, Maastricht, Gouda, Enschede, Nijmegen and Wageningen are also looking at the concept and dozens of other councils have expressed an interest in the idea, the paper says.
If junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma approves the Utrecht plan, all welfare benefit claimants will be asked if they would like to join in.
One group will continue under the present system of welfare plus supplementary benefits for housing and health insurance. A second group will get benefits based on a system of incentives and rewards and a third group will have a basic income with no extras.
In theory, a basic income consists of a flat income to cover living costs which, supporters say, will free up people to work more flexible hours, do volunteer work and study. Additional income is subject to income tax.
Top Reddit comment:
Hi, some additional details on the situation. An acquaintance of mine is an economist heavily involved with the projects, so I got most of this first hand.
Firstly, every single basic income experiment in the Netherlands is currently on hold pending authorization by the national government. They haven't said no, but they have to approve and they haven't yet. It's not likely for the current national government to approve since they are dominated by conservative liberals (that is not a contradiction in Dutch politics).
Secondly, the Netherlands has had a Negative Income Tax called the 'Bijstand' (lit. Assistance) since basically forever (not even wikipedia knows since when). However this Bijstand, like is common for social security measures has been made very conditional. To be allowed Bijstand you have to apply for a job constantly (at least three applications per week) and you have to accept literally any job offer you are presented. Most of the 'basic income' experiments are about removing these conditions to create a Universal Negative Income Tax, which (when implemented properly) can have the same effects as a UBI, but is not really the same.
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