Friday 18 October 2019

58,000 basic income supporters hope to force a parliamentary debate


Supporters of the introduction of a basic income in the Netherlands will today hand over a petition containing 58,000 signatures calling for a debate in parliament.

The signatories are calling for a basic income of €1,000 for all adults, plus health insurance and an extra payment for children. A basic income will allow everyone to decide whether to work, study, start a company or, for example, take care of elderly family members, the supporters say.

Under the citizens’ initiative scheme, controversial issues have to be placed on the parliamentary agenda if more than 40,000 signatures have been collected in support. The organisers hope to eventually collect more than 100,000 signatures.

Earlier this year the government gave the green light to 25 local councils to experiment with different forms of income and welfare benefits next year. For example, in some places, welfare claimants will not have to apply for jobs but will be allowed to keep more of any addition earnings.

Utrecht, Groningen, Wageningen and Tilburg are among the cities where the experiment will take place.

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