- "We're going to do it as soon as possible. So it can be useful, not just for this extraordinary situation, and that it remains forever," the minister of economic affairs said.
- No specific date was unveiled yet.
- In the US, Andrew Yang helped thrust the idea of universal basic income into the mainstream.
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Spain is moving to implement a universal basic income as a measure to help workers battered by
Nadia Calvio, the country's minister for economic affairs, told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Sunday evening that the government is planning to introduce it as part of a barrage of policies to help people get back on their feet.
She said enacting basic income was "mostly aimed at families, but differentiating between their circumstances."
Calvio didn't offer a specific date as to when basic income could be rolled out in the country. But she said the government hoped it would become "a permanent instrument."
"We're going to do it as soon as possible," she said. "So it can be useful, not just for this extraordinary situation, and that it remains forever."
If the plan moves from proposal to reality, Spain would become the first nation in Europe to pass universal basic income, according to the Independent.
Finland had previously tried a two-year basic income experiment of its own that ended in 2019 with 2,000 unemployed residents, Business Insider's Aria Bendix reported . Recipients reported they were happier and healthier, but many of them were still jobless.
It's not immediately clear what universal basic income could look like in Spain, given the proposal appears to be in its early stages. But under the idea, the government would provide a monthly payment to citizens, free of any conditions.
Spain enacted a nationwide lockdown on March 14 to curb the spread of the virus, and effectively shut down the economy as restaurants, bars, and hotels were ordered to closed their doors. The country reported over 135,000 cases so far and 13,000 deaths.
To date, Spain has rolled out scores of measures to provide relief to both corporations and average people.
The push for basic income in the US has its champions. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang thrust the idea of basic income into the mainstream with his plan for a "Freedom Dividend" during his presidential run, which ended earlier this year.
The plan would have guaranteed payments of $1,000 a month or $12,000 a year to every US citizen over the age of 18 without any strings attached.
To help Americans deal with the fallout of coronavirus, the Trump administration signed a law to provide millions of Americans with one-time $1,200 stimulus checks . Individuals earning below $75,000 and couples making under $150,000 qualify for the full amount.
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