EU - Universal Basic Income

Arno Froese

Views on a guaranteed basic income vary drastically across Europe—some see it as a springboard, while others call it a hammock. Now, an EU citizens’ initiative is urging the European Commission to take up the issue.

Fatafta is one of about 2 million people in Germany who has applied to the Basic Income Pilot Project. Starting next spring, 122 of the applicants will receive €1,200 ($1,422) per month for three years. No strings attached.

Many European countries are debating the idea of a basic income, and a citizens’ initiative has now called on the European Commission to present a proposal for unconditional basic income throughout the bloc. The idea is to reduce regional differences, while strengthening economic and social cohesion across the continent.

The idea of a universal basic income has played out over and over again, most recently in Finland. In 2017 and 2018, 2,000 randomly chosen unemployed Finns received a monthly basic income of €560 instead of the usual unemployment benefits — with no applications, no forms and no bureaucracy. They were allowed to earn as much money on the side as they wanted.

Arno's Commentary

This is not new for Europe. Several governments presented this package to their citizens. In June of 2016, the Swiss people overwhelmingly rejected the plan, with 77% against. The plan called for a minimum monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,555), plus 625 for each child. 

The Danish people also rejected universal basic income in April of 2020. However, Denmark’s excellent welfare system guarantees income even without work. There is little doubt that sooner or later, some type of universal basic income will be instituted throughout the Union. 

What is the motivating reason behind “universal income”? Less poverty, less crime, and importantly, less administrative cost compared to traditional welfare schemes such as housing assistance and food stamps. Europe prides itself as the most secure continent, with a low level of crime; this is statistically proven when compared with other so-called rich countries. Crime, incidentally, is always highest where poverty is greatest. 

Christians often point to 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” However, this does not apply to the world, but is simply church discipline. The message is plain: a sluggard in the church should not be rewarded. The apostle Paul testifies in verse 8: “Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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