NAMIBIA: Labor union’s withdrawal from BIG Coalition sparks outpouring of defense for the BIG proposal
The National Union for Namibian Workers (NUNW) announced in early July that it would withdraw from the Basic Income Grant Coalition. The Union’s Secretary General said that NUNW did not see income distribution, as per the BIG model, as a viable way to address poverty in the country. Many editorials followed with renewed support for BIG. For example, the Windhoek Observer, a Namibian Weekly, devoted a recent editorial to the current BIG debate in Namibia. It compares President Pohamba’s remarks that BIG would encourage laziness to the famous apocryphal saying of the French Queen Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake.” Evidence from the recent BIG pilot project in Namibia is consistent with the contrary hypothesis that in places with deep poverty, cash grants stimulate people to work more by relieving them from the immediate needs that often keep them from engaging in productive activity.
Links to recent articles about BIG in Namibia are below.
“NUNW withdraws from BIG Coalition,” Richard Swartbooi, Namibian Broadcasting Company:
“Let them Eat Cake,” Editorial, The Windhoek Observer:
“The NUNW and the Basic Income Grant,” Herbert Jauch, the Namibian:
“BIG: Time to separate fact from fiction,” by Lucy Edwards, May 28, New Era Online, 2010:
“Namibia: Social justice and solidarity – think ‘BIG,’” Henning Melber, Pambazuka News, Issue 485, June 10, 2010:
“Academic justifies BIG,” Irene !Hoaës, New Era Online, June 4, 2010: