Universal income of €1,000/month to be tested

Participants will receive 1,000 euros a month

Crowdfunding campaign pays for test to see if idea is viable – but only for three candidates

Three people will be picked at random this evening to take part in a ‘basic income’ trial paid for by crowdfunding.

Those taking part will each receive €1,000/month for a year in a bid to test in France the idea of universal basic income (UBI), which has an increasing number of supporters.

The idea of UBI is that everyone, regardless of other income, should receive from the state enough money each month to cover essential needs.

An association called MonRevenuDeBase is behind the new trial, to which some 80,000 people signed up all across France.

Supporters say UBI will become increasingly necessary as traditional full-time jobs become scarcer due to automation and artificial intelligence. However the money is not intended to encourage people to do nothing.

Researcher Suzanne Bellue who is studying the initiative, said that out of those who gave a reason for taking part common ones included “wanting to take back control of their lives, see their family more and get training”, while only 15% gave purely monetary answers such as “to pay the bills” or “survive”. In a similar test in Germany which now funds 124 basic incomes, reportedly only three recipients gave up work or training.

The project was launched a month ago and has now raised the €36,000 needed to fund three people’s revenus de base.

The association is still raising money and it is possible to sign up for a chance to be picked in a future draw at MonRevenuDeBase.

UBI was part of the presidential manifesto of Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon this year and now 11 Socialist presidents of departmental councils want to organise trials in their areas of a form of basic income starting in 2019.

January’s edition of The Connexion newspaper will include an interview with the president of the Ariège council about the idea.

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