A new Ipsos survey of twelve countries showed very significant support for basic income, and in several countries the majority of people believed the government should go ahead and introduce the scheme.
Basic income expected to help alleviate poverty
The survey results, reported by Basic Income News, showed that basic income is supported by a majority of adults in Poland (60% agree, 24% disagree), Germany (52% agree, 22% disagree), Mexico (52% agree, 23% disagree), and Italy (50% agree, 26% disagree).
Even in the lowest-support country, France, 29% of respondents believed basic income should be introduced.
Respondents in most countries felt that basic income would have positive effects on alleviating poverty and allowing people to spend more time with their families. Many felt that basic income would increase dependence on the state and decrease labour market participation, although it was not clear whether these outcomes were perceived as positive or negative.
A boost to the world basic income movement
Growing support for national basic incomes is likely to be good news for the world basic income movement. As people come to appreciate the potential benefits of providing direct cash for all, governments tend to take notice. This can lead to more experiments, more evidence, and growing support at every level.
Once the benefits of national basic income are apparent, people can begin to ask what more we could do with this idea. By replicating basic income at the world level, we have the potential to address global inequalities, and share the benefits of basic income beyond our own borders.
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Title photograph by Koustav2007 (Own work), CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons