Italy’s Five Star Movement is rolling out plans to issue a “citizens’ income”. Its aim is to reduce inequality and simplify social security.
But there’s just one catch. As reported by Bloomberg, the worrying thing is that this experiment becomes an administrative nightmare, making it harder to target those most in need.
Italy’s new citizens’ income is for households earning less than €9,360 a year. It’s made up of an income support scheme and a housing allowance, which can add up to €780 a month for a single person with no income.
It is aimed at pensioners and people of working age. The latter must be willing to accept a suitable job, or else lose the benefit – hence its difference to more radical basic income schemes. Companies will get a discount on their social security contributions when they hire a citizens’ income recipient.
According to the country’s statistics agency, about one-fifth of its citizens are at risk of poverty. Also, one in 10 lives with serious deprivation.