An innovative aspect of the ERC-CUP agreement. the Catalan pro-independence party in the Catalonian government, and CUP a left-wing to far-left pro-Catalan independence political party, is to study an Universal Basic Income (UBI) during 2021, implement it in 2022 to a vulnerable age group, and extend it from 2023 to the whole population.

The pandemic has aggravated the situation of many families in Catalonia. As an example, Catalonia closed 2020 with 497,611 unemployed people, 28.21% more than at the beginning of the year. That is why as part of a social rescue program to deal with the consequences of the covid an UBI deadline is implemented. This remuneration would be received by the entire population resident in Catalonia.

Minimum Vital Income, Guaranteed Citizenship Income or Universal Basic Income 

Unlike the Minimum Vital Income or the Guaranteed Citizenship Income, the universal basic income is an income that would receive the entire resident population that would be financed through a tax reform that would affect 20% of the richest taxpayers and for which more than 80% of the population would benefit. This measure would not involve an extra cost to the public treasury, as it does not require dedicated staff to audit whether one is poor enough to receive the Minimum Vital Income or the Guaranteed Income of Citizenship. 

The pilot Plan

The pilot plan will consist of 3 phases: in 2021, the options for applying this measure will be studied for “some or some age groups”; in 2022, the parties pledge to push for the necessary legal reforms to be able to implement it; and in 2023 the impact and operation of the measure would be evaluated and proposals to expand it would be considered.

But what is an UBI? 

It is 1) a benefit paid periodically; 2) referred to the poverty line; and 3) for all citizens, regardless of personal conditions. In Europe, an experiment was conducted in Finland with 2,000 people, from which it was inferred that there were no effects on employment and improved psychological health. 

We may be facing a very interesting opportunity to make European proclamations of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights a reality. The RBU unconditionally guarantees material security and full participation in society, combined with equality among all people.