Eight Rotterdammers who are struggling to make ends meet are to be given €1,000 a month for a full year on top of their regular income as part of a continuing experiment to see what the impact is on their lives.
The experiment is being run by private foundation Stichting Collectief Kapitaal, and is set to be expanded to Leeuwarden, Arnhem and possibly Utrecht later this year.
Freelancers and people on zero hours contracts are being encouraged to apply but the experiment is open to everyone with a low income, spokeswoman Jet de Nies told the AD.
The foundation wants to find out what having the extra money means for people’s lives and what changes it enables them to make. “In particular, we want to know what changes in you as a person if you don’t have to justify yourself all the time,” De Nies said.
The candidates will be chosen by lottery.
Last year there was a similar experiment involving five people in Amsterdam. One of them, Shasha, a single mother, told RTL Nieuws that the money made her feel valued again.
“I no longer had to cancel going out for a drink with friends,” she said. “And when I got the bill for the school trip for one of my children, I was not stressed out. I could make plans for the future.”
All five Amsterdam participants reported feeling that they were “seen and heard” and that their trust in their fellow humans had increased, the AD reported. The Amsterdam project is also set to be repeated this year.
The money to fund the experiment has come from donors in the individual cities and is tax free for participants.
The Stichting Collectief Kapitaal experiment is one of several in the Netherlands to find out more about the impact of alleviating poverty on people’s lives and well-being.
Some 830,000 people in the Netherlands are currently thought to be living below the poverty line, including 6.7% of the country’s children.
In Tilburg, for example, 150 families are being given an additional €150 a month on a trial basis.
Eindhoven also ran a similar trial in 2021 and 2022 in which 30 Eindhoven youngsters were given €1050 a month to live on. The report, published last month suggests that the money improved the youngsters’ lives, by giving them the financial space to work on personal targets such as repaying debts and developing a stable home life.
The youngsters, aged 18 to 30 also received intensive coaching during the project.
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