Op-Ed; Opinion

EDITORIAL: A Popular Legislative Initiative for a Guaranteed Citizenship Income in Spain

A Popular Legislative Initiative (PLI) for a Guaranteed Citizenship Income (GCI), already being presented to the network of notaries, and once to the Catalan Parliament, will start to collect signatures for the next 4 months.

Syndicalist and collective entities giving their support to the PLI will have to make an important effort in order to get at least 50,000 signatures.

The reasons of such an Initiative:

This PLI is the fruit of many months of preparation work, to be able to answer to the important crisis situation of the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). Its value is only 412 euros (far under the poverty threshold) that was brought under the Mas government, on summer 2011. It allows a right be subjective and comes to be linked to the budget’s disposition. It did not actualize, depending on Consumer Price Index (CPI), is unable to exceed International Money System (IMS) and was fixed to a maximum period of 5 years to perceive it. It puts aside people with “only” unemployment matters and not showing added social difficulties, having to live at the same place for 1 or 2 years to get it. Finally, the JSA was totally mutilated by Convergence And Union’s (CiU) government from right, and despite protestations from social organisms, the social services, syndicates and other agencies were integrated in the fiscal and financial measures Law approved on the 14th of March 2011 parliamentary session.

Consequences of such a measure:

Far from improving unemployment, poverty, and social exclusion situation of this summer 2011, the poverty rate was estimated at about 25% of the population. Nearly 32% of Catalans’ families have difficulty making ends meet. Tens of thousands persons don’t have means to live. The number of persons living in the streets, under bridges, or close to cash machines increased by 32%, and the median age of homeless people dead in the street last summer was 58 years old.

Effects researched by this Initiative:

These are reasons why the PLI for a GCI is very important in this period. Red Renta Basica [the Spanish Basic Income Network) has been present since the beginning in its elaboration. Without setting any Universal Basic Income, as defended by our association, we believe this PLI is necessary in those moments of important economic depression. The proposition considerably improves the JSA that Catalan’s government has left aside. The GCI is clearly higher than existing JSA in the different Autonomous Communities, first by its ability to get back a subjective right, second by its non-arbitrariness since it is an income with for value the level of a sufficiency income in Catalonia (about 600 euros), and finally by the fact it is given during the whole time while the recipient lacks income.

(translated by Florian Martinon)

About Red Renta Basica

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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