In 2009, a Charity undertook a project of disbursal of GBP 3000 per annum to street dwellers. It never got Government backing. The result of that experiment was eye opening and worth deserving due attention. On an average only GBP 800 was spent by the chosen group. Nearly all of them used that Free Money in most pragmatic manner, as suited to their respective needs. No nonsensical spending was witnessed, as was feared at beginning.
It was taken up through referendum in June 2016, that guaranteeing Swiss Franc 2500 for every individual per month. It got rejected with 77% people voting against such universalization of income. Curiously, citizens of SUI are not in favor of labour-free money. Such unimpressive vote result has came out in because of fear in general populace that if this was operationalized, immigrants will starts pouring in unabated.
Under the Presidency of Richard Nixon, a bill providing for minimum guaranteed income received assent from House of Representative. Unfortunately, it couldn’t muster enough votes in Senate and got debunked. Never such initiative came up after that.
An ideal welfare state. Scandinavian countries are looked upon as lodestar in marching rally of welfare measures.
In Finland, a pilot study started in January 2016 under which 560 euros was given to the selected group of people. Results of the study are expected to come out in December 2018.
One of the most forward and economically solvent countries of Africa. Pilot project funded by eBay co-founder in collaboration with an International charity organization. However, no details been made public yet.
AN INDIAN CASE STUDY
There has been one pilot project carried out by an NGO in Madhya Pradesh in 2010. It reached to conclusion in 2013. The pilot project was not backed by any government (Central or State). Though, the results of the project are astonishingly positive and deserves due analysis.
It was done in 8 villages, where 6000 people were given fixed monthly sum.
• Nearly 25% households changed their main source of energy for cooking and lighting.
• Of the total households, 16% made repair in their toilets.
• Of these 95.6% had bank accounts. In a year 73% reported decline in their debt.
• No increased spending in temptation goods.
Perhaps, it is quite wisely said by one of the most prolific writers, “A nation is not made wealthy by the childish accumulation of shiny metals, but it enriched by the economic prosperity of its people”.
There has been a contemporary announcement, in which state of Jammu & Kashmir has shown intent to implement Universal basic Income, thus becoming first Indian state to do so.
As has been eruditely written by Vox journalist Dylan Matthews , “Basic income is having a moment.” The idea of social entitlement based on Universalization has caught imagination of world leaders unanimously. As a matter of fact, UBI was hot topic during WEF in Davos in 2016. The title was World without Work.
However, it will be highly solicited from the state to appreciate the fact that the human life depends not only on income but also on social opportunities, particularly education and health care.
One of the most defining reform to be expected through UBI is that in area of gender parity. A women’s monthly, unattached income through a basic income entitlement gives her more bargaining power in the household in turn assuring greater task sharing appetite. This would also allow mothers to raise their kids independently in much more uninhibited environment.
As was mentioned by Karl Marx in one of his letter that the social progress can be measured by the social position of the fairer sex. Thus, the progress of any nation is intrinsically linked to holistic development of all its subjects.