Spain is set to become the first country to provide a universal basic income (UBI) to help families through the coronavirus pandemic.
Minister for Economic Affairs Nadia Calvino said that UBI would be introduced “as soon as possible” to help with the crisis, but also indicated that it could be something that “stays forever, becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument.”
UBI has become a hot topic during the Covid-19 outbreak, with many people calling for a basic safety net to support both businesses and households.
Last week, Britain’s former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith insisted that the payment of UBI, even in the short term during the pandemic, would be a “disincentive to work.”
Under a two-year trial of UBI in Finland that ended in February 2019, some out-of-work Finns received €560 (£490) a month.
Researchers found that those who took part in the scheme were happier and healthier, but UBI did not have any impact on their ability to find a job.
Spain is one of the countries hit worst by the Covid-19 outbreak, recording 136,675 cases and more than 13,000 deaths. About 83,000 people are currently sick.