Politics & Policies

The Dutch ‘Basic Income’ Experiment

Free cash is in the works for a growing number of Dutch urbanites. After the city of Utrecht announced that it would give no-strings-attached money to some of its residents, other Dutch cities are getting on board for social experiments with “basic income,” a regular and unconditional stipend to cover living costs.

Tilburg, a city of 200,000 habitants close to the border with Belgium, will follow Utrecht’s initiative, and the cities of Groningen, Maastricht, Gouda, Enschede, Nijmegen, and Wageningen are also considering it.

Supporters of basic income say it is a good mechanism to alleviate poverty and social exclusion. A recent study conducted in 18 European countries concluded that generous welfare benefits make people likely to want to work more, not less.

Ralf Embrechts, director of the Social Development Association of Tilburg and one of the promoters of the program, said that’s the theory the program is designed to test.

“We want to discover, if you trust people and give them a basic income without any rules or obligations—so, unconditionally—that they will do the right thing,” he explained to us in an email.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Dutch ‘Basic Income’ Experiment Promises Free Money for Those on Welfare – CityLab.

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