Chicago could become biggest US city to trial universal basic income Chicago could become biggest US city to trial universal basic income

Chicago could become biggest US city to trial universal basic income
24 Jul 2018

Chicago could become the largest US city to trial a universal basic income, thanks to a Bill to introduce a pilot programme that has so far received support from 36 co-sponsors and could be voted on by the City Council.

The proposal by Chicago lawmaker Ameya Pawar entails giving US$500 a month — no strings attached — to 1,000 families in the city. It would also enable them to receive tax credits on a monthly, rather than annual, basis.

Pawar explained to The Intercept that automation has the potential to threaten millions of jobs. If jobs “simply go away... divisions are going to grow and, in many ways, we’re sitting on a powder keg”, he said.

"Nearly 70% of Americans don’t have US$1,000 in the bank for an emergency," Pawar added. "It’s time to start thinking about direct cash transfers to people so that they can start making plans about how they’re going to get by."

Alaska already has a similar programme in place, and Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, California, plans to begin an 18-month universal basic income trial next year, according to Fortune.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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Chicago could become the largest US city to trial a universal basic income, thanks to a Bill to introduce a pilot programme that has so far received support from 36 co-sponsors and could be voted on by the City Council.

The proposal by Chicago lawmaker Ameya Pawar entails giving US$500 a month — no strings attached — to 1,000 families in the city. It would also enable them to receive tax credits on a monthly, rather than annual, basis.

Pawar explained to The Intercept that automation has the potential to threaten millions of jobs. If jobs “simply go away... divisions are going to grow and, in many ways, we’re sitting on a powder keg”, he said.

"Nearly 70% of Americans don’t have US$1,000 in the bank for an emergency," Pawar added. "It’s time to start thinking about direct cash transfers to people so that they can start making plans about how they’re going to get by."

Alaska already has a similar programme in place, and Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, California, plans to begin an 18-month universal basic income trial next year, according to Fortune.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

MORE ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Facebook founder calls for taxes on big business to reduce inequality

Finland scraps universal basic income experiment

Finland proposes copying UK's controversial benefits approach

 

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