Friday, October 28, 2016

The small arrangements of the political with the universal income – Europe1

The subject stands out as one of those who will conduct the primary campaign and then the presidential election. The universal income makes its appearance in more and more programs of candidates, officials or potential, in the elections to come. These are inspired by particular initiatives in finland and the netherlands. In the netherlands, in fact, in some cities, the payment to all citizens with an income of about € 900 monthly must soon be experienced. In France, the final policy date to be captured this idea is Manuel Valls, on the move in the Gironde Thursday. The First minister took advantage of this visit in a department that has launched a simulation on the universal income to defend the principle.

A new track. “The social progress, it is an invention, a permanent”, said the head of the government. “Now, we need to open new tracks. The universal income, that is to say, a single allocation, open to all, from 18 years, to replace the ten social minimum existing, is one of them.” This device would have the advantage, emphasizes the Prime minister, to simplify a “complex system”. So complex that “35% of the potential beneficiaries of the RSA are not doing the application.” It would also be beneficial for “under 25 years of age, [who] do not have access to social minima”.


income (not really) universal. These statements reflect the design that Manuel Valls of the universal income : he is the fusion of social minima to create a one-time grant, as suggested by a report by socialist mp Christophe Sirugue, and returned to the government last April. This "single allocation" would be paid, as the minimum social benefits under conditions of resources. An idea which, if it actually seems to promise a simplification of social security payments, remains very distant from the principle of universal income. As its name indicates, it is supposed to be distributed to all without distinction. Therefore, it is combinable with all other forms of income, including those resulting from the work.

Manuel Valls is not the only one to use the term so hackneyed. Marie-Noëlle Lienemann, a candidate in the primary of the left government, entered into its first "programmatic proposals" a "basic income that is universal"...for young people under 28 years of age. The senator envisages, however, a generalization to more long-term. To right, Jean-Frédéric Fish also speaks of universal income, but "in lieu of all allowances for social and family", which suggests that it would also be subject to the conditions of the resource.

Disagreements over the amount. Some politicians have, however, taken the idea of the universal income without contesting the universality. This was the case, for example, Frédéric Lefebvre when he thought of still being able to participate in the primary from the right, or even of Yannick Jadot and Michèle Rivasi, both qualified for the second round of the primary ecologist. A candidate for the nomination to the left, Benoît Hamon, also defended this device. And on the right is Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who has taken over his account. But where points of view diverge, it is about the size of this universal income. For NKM, it would be of 470 euros per month, net. Yannick Jadot as Benoît Hamon look for a similar sum, turn-around 500 euros. Is less than the RSA base (524 euros), even if some, such as Benoit Hamon, want to gradually increase after its implementation.

are too weak to ensure autonomy. However, the goal of a universal income is not only to fight against poverty, by ensuring that each a minimum amount of money to live on. It is also to encourage the autonomy, to "liberate" individuals of the obligation to a hard work or unsatisfactory to encourage them to otherwise invest in the company, so associational, for example, or creating a business. "The basic income is not intended to bury the work. It leads on the contrary to the release, in the creation of many forms, today choked to death", explains the French Movement for a basic income, an association that promotes the universal income. Difficult to imagine how an income less than the amount of the RSA may complete this objective.

The basic income is not intended to bury the work. It leads on the contrary to the release.

"Between 800 and 1,000 euros". moreover, some politicians have understood this. "500 euros is not enough", reminded mep ecologist Michèle Rivasi, during the first debate against other candidates in the primary EELV, end of September. Rather, it proposed an amount "between 800 and 1,000 euros" for citizens to become "autonomous and self-emancipated". Exactly the same figures as those advanced by Frédéric Lefebvre. Whether these amounts would actually not alter the universal income, they have, logically, a very high cost. In a study published in may, the Fondation Jean Jaurès was estimated that an income of 750 euros per month, paid to all French without any condition, would be 504 billion of spending or 24% of the GDP. For 1,000 euros, it would reach 675 billion, or 31% of GDP.

Difficult to make an argument of the campaign. of Course, these expenditures are expected to be offset in so many ways –taxes for the wealthy, increase the purchasing power and therefore consumption, etc., But they remain exorbitant. And will not fail to be carried as a standard by the assailants of the universal income, which more is in a period of scarcity of budget. If so many politicians offer the universal income, so it's a safe bet that this is not because they don't understand. But because they fully appreciate the difficulty of making an electoral argument bearer.


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