The amount that can be paid out each month as world basic income will depends on how much can be raised through global taxation and other charges. When we began this campaign we proposed a world basic income of $10 per person per month. However, our calculations have since shown that, with just a few small taxes and charges applied to over-use of the global commons, we could raise enough for a significantly higher basic income. In early 2020 we therefore began discussions about increasing the proposed starting amount.
When choosing the new amount, we have needed to consider the effects that it could have on people and communities receiving it, in terms of work habits, lifestyle, family dynamics and more. We have discussed this with our International Advisory Board, especially members based in Africa and south Asia, and based our new starting figure on their input. We've also considered evidence around potential inflation impacts. This evidence shows that low income communities can actually absorb a large amount of new money without significant inflation, as they use it as a stimulus to increase production.
We are therefore delighted to announce a tripling of our initial proposed world basic income amount, from $10 to $30 per person per month, or roughly $1 a day for everyone. This would be paid to every adult and every child worldwide, representing a huge boost in income for billions of families around the world.
A world basic income of $30 is affordable and practical. The impacts on people's lives could be astonishing. Extreme poverty (defined as living on less than $1.90 a day) still affects one in every ten people worldwide. This human disaster could be eradicated almost overnight through a world basic income at this level. The 40% of people who live on incomes not far from this poverty line would also see a huge improvement to their lives. Even in richer countries, many people - especially families with children - would feel a real difference.
This huge boost to world basic income could not come at a more pressing time. The global economic crisis caused by coronavirus is just beginning. Working people all over the world are losing their livelihoods, putting their families at risk of starvation and destitution. Most countries do not have the resources to support the huge amount of people that will now be out of work. We urgently need a worldwide basic income, to ensure that people can continue to eat, stay well and keep the basics of their life together in order to ride out this crisis. Global crises need global solutions. World basic income is a vital part of the answer.
The WBI Blog
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Title photograph by Koustav2007 (Own work), CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons