Money Tingz: Universal Basic Income Could Be Coming To Barbados
By CultureBanx Team
- Barbados is proposing giving its citizens universal basic income, a system of wealth distribution where people receive a guaranteed livable amount of money
- Citizens of Barbados who earn less than $12,386, are eligible for a reverse-tax-credit grant of $644 a year
After crowning Rihanna its 11th National Hero, the island nation of Barbados is proposing giving its citizens a universal basic income (UBI) stipend. The Barbadian government intends to regularly give some of the income produced by the country back to its adult citizens. Could this be the true path to economic parity and a way out of poverty for citizens of Barbados?
Why This Matters: UBI is a system of wealth distribution where people receive a guaranteed livable income that would meet basic human needs. Barbados, like many countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, has suffered financially from the pandemic, and it's looking to provide a cushion for struggling households. It's unclear how much the UBI would be, but Barbadians who earn less than 25,000 Barbadian dollars a year, about $12,386, are eligible for a reverse-tax-credit grant of 1,300 Barbadian dollars, or about $644 a year, according to Insider.
UBI programs have surged in popularity in recent years around the world. Avinash Persaud, the special envoy to the prime minister of Barbados on investment and financial services proposed that citizens receive regular payments through a citizen's dividend, which typically gives residents sums of money based on government investment in natural resources.
Rihanna is perhaps the country's most high-profile philanthropist. In March 2020, she donated $700,000 worth of ventilators to Barbados through her Clara Lionel Foundation. Over the years, she's given millions of dollars to healthcare and education efforts in the country.
The most recent World Bank report on the country's economics, from 2017, said poverty rates had risen in Barbados, and experts say it has likely increased since then because of the influence of the coronavirus on Barbados' tourism industry.
What’s Next: Google (GOOG +0.56%) futurist and director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, predicts Universal Basic Income will be widespread by 2030. Also, experts say the costs of implementing basic income on a large scale would be astronomical and would cost around $3 trillion a year. The experiment is definitely not without its limitations in ascertaining how a basic income actually changes behavior and long-term economic outcomes.
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