Basic income makes the headlines in Belgium
On October 25, 2013, basic income made the front page of the Flemish left-of-centre daily De Morgen. The article referred to a new book authored by Peter De Keyzer, a chief economist at the bank BNP Paribas Fortis in Brussels. In his book, entitled “Growth makes happy”, De Keyzer advocates the implementation of a substantial basic income of EUR1,000 per month in Belgium, and the suppression of several existing benefits (such as pensions and social assistance). The article also includes an interview with Evelyn Forget (University of Manitoba) about the Canadian BI experiments in the 1970s, as well as with Philippe Van Parijs (Louvain University). According to Van Parijs, “In Europe, the idea of a basic income has never been so lively than these days”. The President of the Flemish Green Party, Wouter Van Besien, criticizes the proposal made by De Keyzer, as it would- he argues – lead to more inequality and more poverty. The editorial of De Morgen, by Bart Eeckhout, is also entirely devoted to basic income. It is entitled “Basic income is worth a discussion”.
The editorial by Bart Eeckhout can be read online (although its title is different from the printed version). The article itself is not available online.