Universal Basic Income will soon be a reality in least, for some people, Source: Unsplash

Catalonia’s Universal Basic Income tryout to start on 1 January 2023

Catalonia’s Universal Basic Income tryout to start on 1 January 2023

The adult participants in the study will get 800 euros every month, and minors will receive 300

The Catalan government’s experiment with Universal Basic Income (UBI) provision to local residents now has a starting date – 1 January 2023. The idea for the temporary programme, which is meant to serve as a study and pre-trial of the concept’s applicability started taking shape already last year, but now there are concrete details on how it will unroll.

Two years of duration before scaling up

According to Catalan News, some 5,000 lucky participants will take part in the socio-economic study, which will last exactly two years – until the last day of 2024. This means that the adult ones will get 800 euros each month unconditionally, while minors will get 300 euros, also each month.

There will be two groups of participants, which will be randomly selected according to certain criteria.

On one hand, there will be 2,500 persons from across Catalonia in order to provide a well-balanced geographical and social coverage of the experiment. The other group (also of 2,500 persons) will be the populations of two randomly chosen Catalan villages. Here, the idea will be to study how the community as a collective force will react to UBI provision. Apparently, the wealthiest residents of the villages, however, will be excluded from the trial.

The selected participants and overall design of the experiment will be announced by September or October.

The director of the Office of the Pilot Plan to Implement the Universal Basic Income in Catalonia, Sergi Raventós Panyella, explained back in June what the aims of the new policy are, while dismissing critics who claim that UBI is a form of utopia.

Faced with the neoliberal discourse of relentless criticism of the role of the State, society has recognized the importance of public systems and of having guaranteed social rights. The language of the Basic Income is that of citizenship rights and, from the beginning of being citizens, of guaranteeing material existence,” he affirmed.

Social scientists have long studied the effects of such programs and have found a number of benefits, from reduced stress levels to improved food consumption and even fewer school dropouts. 

In essence, it is about transforming Catalonia into a true Welfare State.

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