Basic Income Network Italia (BIN Italia) has released a new editorial production. Titled “QR9 (Quaderni per il Reddito) – Notebooks for Income: Big Data, WebFare and basic income for all! We are on the net, we produce value, we want basic income“, it’s freely accessible over the Internet.
This publication (March 2019) features 16 authors, offering different perspectives thanks to an included variety of articles written by several italian and international authors.
As reported in the back cover: “Today the Capital expresses its value and lives within neurons and silicon and this evolution changes the relationship between Labor and Capital. Identifying a sort of WebFare Manifesto, could mean a new speech to claim an unconditional basic income, the fruit of our being connected to the network”.
Sandro Gobetti and Luca Santini, “We are connected. Basic income and WebFare for all
Andrea Boggio, Big Data & Digital Labor”
Benedetto Vecchi, “The basic income between technocapitalism and social fragmentation”
Roberto Ciccarelli, “Why unconditional basic income and self-determination is a political revolution”
Daniele Gambetta, “From the network to the social network: self-determining the discourse”
Francesca Bria and Evgeny Morozov, “Digital rebel cities claim a New Deal on data”
Stefano Simoncini, “Populist Machines. The challenge of basic income and technological sovereignty between local and transnational”
Maurizio Teli, “WebFare, digital identity and collective freedom”
Andrea Fumagalli, “Network value and basic income: from the WebFare to the commonfare”
Roberto Paura, “From basic income to Universal Basic Assets: a manifesto for equity in the 21st century”
Giuseppe Bronzini, “Social cooperation between the big data economy and basic income”
Giuseppe Allegri, “The great convergence for basic income in the digital age”
Franco Berardi Bifo, “Thinking about basic income in the horizon of collapse”
Luther Blissett, “WebFare: income for all and all platforms for users!”
The Italian branch of the Basic Income Network (BIN Italia) has written a plea about Guaranteed Minimum Income to the newly elected Parliament, still struggling to form a government.
Plea to the Italian Parliament (full text)
“May the Parliament listen to our society.
Guaranteed Minimum Income is something we can’t do without any longer.
Something that until a few years ago was confined to the scope of utopias and eccentricities of some activists, the guaranteed minimum income is now one of the main themes of the 2018 political and electoral debate. The material condition of millions of people, the economic difficulties of evergrowing population groups, the weight endured by generations of occasional workers and temporary employees, have drawn attention to the necessity for reform toward this direction.
Italy’s delay on this issue is now intolerable. It would seem reasonable to begin with prompts such as the 2017 european resolution that exhorted the member states to adopt a guaranteed minimum income policy, as defined in the 20 principles and rights of the European Social Pillar released on November 2017, in Göteborg, with the joint declaration by the European Union (EU) organs.
Among the 29 points of the European Social Pillar, is number 14: the right to an «adequate minimum income». The EU has been asking Italy for years to conform to supranational parameters on this matter, and so did recently the Council of Europe, denouncing the persisting lack of effective policies against social exclusion (in contravention of the European Social Charter article 30). Despite all this, the adoption of a guaranteed minimum income policy in our country seems far away.
Over the last years, propositions and calls have also come from large portions of society, campaigns and public initiatives. These have examined and integrated/absorbed the experiences of other european countries, the international debate and the experiments currently underway in many countries in the world.
From all these experiments, it’s clear that a guaranteed minimum income is much more than a benevolent bestowal. It’s an instrument to acknowledge and value personal histories, skills, abilities and aspirations, in the pursuit of a free and decent life.
We ask the Italian Parliament to take on the responsibility to begin, as soon as possible, a debate about the introduction of a guaranteed minimum income in Italy. At this point, and even more now, after the latest elections, this issue cannot be neglected. Millions have voted also to see this proposal put into practice.
We are aware that different approaches exist and that some of the political parties have already made their proposals official. But these differences can be overcome in a debate free of preconceived divergences, and a legislative process ought to be set in motion in this direction.
In order to have debate as wide and universal as possible, we believe it can be useful to begin with the draft law proposed by a citizens’ initiative. That proposition, written in 2013 and supported by a large coalition in civil society, was never examined by the Parliament. Also useful can be the 10 points of the Platform for a Guaranteed Minimum Income, drawn up by the Rete dei Numeri Pari.
These proposals can of course be improved, but we are certain that Italy can’t do without a Guaranteed Minimum Income any longer. Let’s begin with a Guaranteed Minimum Income as a first step toward a tangible universal welfare.”
The board of the Basic Income Network Italia – (BIN Italia)
More information at:
Sandro Gobetti, “Appello al Parlamento: Del reddito minimo garantito non si può più fare a meno [Plea to the Italian Parliament: Guaranteed Minimum Income is something we can’t do without any longer]“, BIN Italia, April 18th 2018
The Network Rete dei Numeri Pari
organized the event called “I love dignity. Guaranteed minimum income. What it is and how to build an instrument against inequality, mafia and poverty” in the past 14th and 15th of February, 2018.
Among many speakers, Sandro Gobetti, Giuseppe Allegri and Giuseppe Bronzini, from Basic Income Network Italia
, shared their thoughts with the audience. Below can be watched a video of the speeches, recorded on February 14th and edited by Radio Radicale.
The video can be watched here
From the 23rd to 24th of June 2017, the National Meeting of the CLAP – Chambers of Autonomous and Precarious Worker – will be held in Rome. Two days of meetings and debates will be held, over issues of labor transformation, social and innovative syndicalism, new social protection policies and basic income.
On June 24th, at 5 pm, a round table will be held, titled “Basic income: an inevitable proposition to counteract the crisis and to really change”. The Basic Income Network Italy (BIN Italia) will be present and talk at this meeting.
The meeting will be held at ESC Atelier Autogestito, in Via dei Volsci 159, Rome.
More information at:
Basic Income Network Italy website.
By: Sandro Gobetti
Basic income began to be debated in Italy from a diverse range of viewpoints about 4-5 years ago, when two law proposals were submitted to the Italian Parliament: one a part of the 5S Movement and the other the outcome of a popular initiative which had more than 50,000 signatures (the necessary threshold according to the Italian Constitution) collected by a pool of political and civil society associations. The role of Bin-Italy, which took part in the judicial extension of the latter text and played a consulting role for the 5S Movement, was particularly important. The two proposals have much in common (for example, that the financing burden falls on collective taxation, that the provision should be individual and not family-based, that the beneficiaries should have, at least at the beginning, an income below the threshold of relative poverty) but also have some differences, especially as to the degree conditionality is concerned.
For the 5S movement the possibility of refusing a job offer is a constrained to a maximum of three times and there is an obligation to work a number of weekly hours in community service. For the law of petition (BIN-Italy law), it introduced the concept of “fairness”, that it is possible to reject any job offer, which is considered “unfair”, since it is in line with the following three parameters: 1. the salary level is lower than previous jobs held or not in line with contractually stipulated pay rates (in the case of the young searching for their first job, without success); 2. the job is not in line with the qualifications and skills of the job-seeker; 3. the workplace is more than 70 km from the job-seekers residence.
Currently, these laws were discussed in the appropriate Labour Committees of the House and Senate but have not yet been put up for voting because the government chose other paths: in March, the new government approved the introduction of Reis (Social Inclusion Income) which presents very different characteristics from basic income and cannot also be considered a minimum income according to the parameters of the EU (PE Resolutions 2009, 2010, Charter of rights, the 1992 Commission Recommendation). Reis is only paid to families that have a total taxable income of less than € 3,000 a year (a ridiculously low amount), have a dependent or a disabled or at least two children and the breadwinner is over 55 years of age. Moreover, Reis includes an obligation to follow a path of integration to work, under penalty of revocation. The available financial resources amount to € 1.1 billion for 2017 and it is expected to increase to € 1,6 billion in 2018. The result is that only ¼ of households in absolute poverty can be helped. It is an expense of 0.1% of the national GDP in a country that already in social spending (net of pension) spends less than half of the average for European countries. The expense to cope with the two proposals for a real minimum income is between € 14 and 16 billion, according to different official statistical sources.
The current debate has given way to some experiments at the local level. Among these, the City of Livorno is testing (for a period of only 6 months), the introduction of a form of income support. To this purpose it has been allocated € 300 thousand. The municipality received 997 applications. Among the requirements was residency in the municipality for at least five years, unemployment status, registration at the employment center and a family income not exceeding € 6530 gross per year. In exchange for € 500 monthly, the municipality invited successful applicants to perform socially useful work.
Some Italian regions such as Puglia, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy have anticipated the governmental model of income support for those in absolute poverty and dependent children or only for the long-term unemployed and often with the obligation to carry out community service: in any case these are not even remotely sufficient to restore decent living conditions. The governor of Apulia Mr. Emiliano even spoke about the cleanliness of the palm leaves on the Bari seafront!
Acceptance with the condition of performing “community work” has been extended to unemployed and workers temporary outside production because of restructuring. Most minimum income experiments at local level are thus more like workfare programs, if not just poverty benefits still tied to a purely assistance-concept, selective, and on a strictly family-oriented basis; this has little to do with a ‘idea’ of a basic minimum income which is also an instrument of freedom and personal self-determination. Further, they are not in line with the instruments already in place in more European countries of fighting social exclusion.
In conclusion, not only is there no actual testing of basic income in Italy, nor are there even forms of guaranteed minimum income consistent with EU parameters. Finally, there is a generalizing culture of coercive control on beneficiaries and induction to accept any kind of work. This is paradoxical in a country known to be free from the implementation of efficient active policies in the labor market and efficient employment services and training.
Last, but not least, in Italy we suffer from a cultural delay regarding the idea that basic income is mainly a primary income. It is a means of remuneration, and not only passive assistance, of all the lifetime that today is put to labor and to value but not yet certified as productive labor and, hence, paid. It is not even related to the fact that unpaid labor is sharply increasing.
Executive Committee Basic Income Network – Italy
Reviewed by Cameron McLeod