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BRAZIL: Senator Suplicy reaffirms that a BI is attainable now

In a recent interview, Senator Eduardo Suplicy reiterated the case for a basic income (BI) in Brazil, underlining that is not only desirable but something that is practically attainable now. At present, the BI in Brazil still exists in a truncated form as the Bolsa Familia conditional cash transfer (covering 25% of the population). Suplicy was the architect of the 2004 law that established the BI in Brazil. This law was charged with introducing the BI there gradually, with the Bolsa Familia being the first step in the process. Suplicy argues that that the time has come for the Bolsa Familia to be extended to cover all Brazilians. He calculates that covering all Brazilians with a modest BI of USD$35 a month would require an eight-fold increase in the budget of USD$80 billion (4% of GDP) currently assigned to the Bolsa Familia. In spite of such fiscal challenges, he believes this is possible given the prosperity the world is seeing and the potential of natural resources as an additional funding source.

For more on this issue see:

Nagarajan, Rema, “Brazil: Imagine a World Free of Hunger and Need,” the Times of India, September 6, 2012.
http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/brazil-economy-dreaming-world-free-hunger-and-need-Eduardo-Suplicy

About Ian Orton

Ian Orton has written 8 articles.

Ian is a Program Manager for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative at BRAC USA, where he works with the team to promote global advocacy of the Graduation approach. Previously, Ian worked for the International Social Security Association of the International Labor Organization as a social protection analyst, where he produced research on social policy issues related to social protection. His main research interests include the impact of the financial crisis on social protection, how social protection can improve resilience to climate change, the political economy dimensions of the basic income proposal, and the social and economic effects of social transfers. Notably, he also co-authored the UN’s 2011 Bachelet report: “Social Protection Floor for a Fair Globalization” for the International Labour Organization. With an academic background in political theory and philosophy, he earned his PhD in Philosophy and has taught courses in political theory and sociology at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels at a number of universities in the UK and in Mexico City.

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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