Spain Plans to Roll Out a Universal income

Authorities want it in place 'as soon as possible'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2020 1:15 PM CDT
Spain to Unveil Universal Basic Income
People play instruments as other dance on their balconies in support of the medical staff in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 5, 2020.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

The coronavirus pandemic has catapulted the idea of a universal basic income—guaranteed payments from the government to all citizens—from the fringes to the mainstream in countries including Spain, which has pledged to roll one out as soon as it can. Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said Sunday night that authorities plan to have a basic income and other measures to help struggling households "in place as soon as possible," Bloomberg reports. She said the government wants the program to become something "that stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument." No word yet on what the amount would be, notes Forbes.

A nationwide lockdown in Spain began on March 15 and measures have been tightened since. The country, with 135,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 13,000 deaths, has the second-worst outbreak in Europe, behind only Italy, the Hill reports. The number of deaths per day, however, has fallen for four straight days, raising hopes that the outbreak may have peaked. (Former Democratic candidate Andrew Yang, who made a universal $1,000-per-month basic income a central part of his platform, says the White House has talked to him about his plan.} (Read more Spain stories.)

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