Ben Dolbear reviews Spain's decision to trial universal basic income in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, and its wider implications for society.
Photo of Homesless Man
The month of March saw Spanish unemployment hit a record high after the jobless claim rate rose by 302,265, due to a national lockdown that was introduced halfway through the month thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Now, the European nation of 47 million people is implementing unprecedented steps to introduce a permanent universal basic income.
Finland Was First
In December 2016, the centre-right Finnish government led by Juha Petri Sipilä trialled the policy with 2,000 unemployed people across the Scandinavian nation, providing them with €560, or £500, of free money. Though in Finland this cash sum amounts to less than one fifth of average private sector earnings, the safety net that this basic income provided allows the recipients to avoid the fear of falling into poverty and frees them up to do meaningful work rather than engaging in unstable and poorly-paying employment practices.
The trial went on until the en