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Portugal: survey shows opinion towards basic income change since 2014

A Portuguese civic movement for the promotion of basic income, named RBI-TT, has been collecting answers to a simple questionnaire on basic income, having done so already in 2016 and 2014. This way, it is possible to measure how people’s opinions change over time, at least those that answer the questionnaire online.


The questionnaire sets forth the following questions:

  1. Where you already familiar with the basic income idea?
  2. Do you support it?
  3. Would you support it if it was paid for with European funds?
  4. Would you support it if it implied eliminating unemployment benefits and reducing the highest pensions?
  5. Would you support it if it implied an increase in taxes for everyone?
  6. Would you support it if it implied such taxes that your net income would be reduced?


Additional questions aim at characterizing the respondents, according to age, gender, degree of schooling, occupation/activity and income level. This year’s evaluation is still ongoing, but the previous two editions gathered 2677 valid answers in total, allowing for relevant analysis.


Over these questionnaires, the percentage of people already familiar with the concept rose from 67 to 74%, while those not familiar with it get to like it at first sight, in a 51 to 72% rise, from 2014 to 2016. Here, it also clearly shows that the financing mechanism is crucial. On average, 73% of respondents support a basic income financed by European funds, while only 23% support a version which would leave them with less net income than today. This low support level for the latter version is, however, much higher among low earners than in high earners. Other interesting results are such that there is a higher incidence of unemployed or retired people supporting a basic income eliminating unemployment benefits and reducing higher pensions, than from those studying or working. And that men are more informed about basic income than women, even though the latter are more supportive of the concept.


The RBI-TT movement (UBI-AA standing for Universal Basic Income – From All to All) rests on a basic income solidarity mechanism which can be understood in this article, which was presented at the BIEN Conference 2018 in Tampere, Finland.

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 281 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

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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