Pope advocates for universal basic income in Easter letter
Pope Francis advocated for a universal basic income amid the coronavirus pandemic in an Easter letter to leaders of social movements and organizations around the world.
“This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out,” he wrote. “It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.”
In his message the pope acknowledged that the pandemic and subsequent economic shutdowns have hit “twice as hard” for those without any legal guarantee of protection.
“Street vendors, recyclers, carnies, small farmers, construction workers, dressmakers, the different kinds of caregivers: you who are informal, working on your own or in the grassroots economy, you have no steady income to get you through this hard time … and the lockdowns are becoming unbearable,” he wrote.
Several countries have said they will implement some form of a temporary or permanent universal basic income in response to the global pandemic.
Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said last week the nation intends to implement a universal basic income program as soon as possible.
In the U.S., some Americans will be receiving $1,200 checks as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said Saturday the first stimulus checks were deposited into taxpayer’s bank accounts.