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Sweden: MP Rebecka Le Moine introduces a motion in Parliament for the investigation of basic income

Rebecka Le Moine. Picture credit to: SLU (

 

The Member of the Swedish Parliament (MP), and Green Party representative Rebecka Le Moine has submitted, on the 30th of November 2018, a motion for the deep investigation of basic income in Sweden. Rebecka, a 28 years old ecologist particularly dedicated to natural conservation issues, is a member of both the committees on Taxation and Environment and Agriculture.

 

The motion itself doesn’t go into a large detail about basic income itself, although it does provide a firm justification to pursue with deeper studies related to it. For instance, it refers to John Maynard Keynes’s predictions of a 15-hour working week, and the generalized usage of automation to replace most repetitive and/or too demanding (or dangerous) jobs. It also names Martin Luther King, particularly his voicing on eradicating poverty through the introduction of unconditional cash transfers. The most notorious basic income experiments around the world – Namibia, Finland, Canada, India – are also mentioned, as a way to contextualize the motion and show-reel some of the advantages of basic income (on an experimental setup).

 

The motion also draws on a human-rights approach to basic income, by referring to the United Nations Charter of Human Rights. Concretely, it appeals to article 22, where it says that all members of society shall have the right to a dignified life, according to each country’s capacity. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are also referred to, since these call for poverty eradication and equal rights to financial resources for all people.

 

On a more personal level, the motion justifies studying basic income deeper on the experimental fact that people get more creative and less risk-aversive when given unconditional money. It also testifies for the relation between freedom and civility, democracy and conscious environmentalism. More secure and less needy people are also more amenable and generous. It goes on to add that unconditional money equates to a power shift from society’s main institutions – governments, corporations, churches, ONG’s – to the individual, who gets a higher ability to say no to oppressive work and life conditions, or yes to tasks or life paths which are not sufficiently valued nowadays. That, of course, leads to major disruptions in the labour market and generalized social constructs.

 

As for financing, the motion swiftly mentions international prized economists who affirm basic income is affordable. That affordability can come from cost savings, with the reduction or elimination of certain conditional social benefits, together with increased taxes on the extraction of natural resources, carbon emissions, fortunes and on the financial sector.

 

More information at:

[in Swedish]

Rebecka Le Moine, “Basinkomst”, Motion till riksdagen, Sveriges Riksdag, November 2018

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 280 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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