Thousands of Residents Will Receive Free Money in Catalonia

Catalonia Will Be Giving Out Free Money to Thousands of Residents

Its government aims to alleviate poverty with this initiative.

Looking for some free cash? And before you ask, no, this isn’t one of those internet scams. A select number of people in Catalonia will receive free money through one of the largest ever Universal Basic Income (UBI) trials. What’s more, this autonomous region in Spain will welcome over a thousand participants!

What is UBI?

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UBI is a government program in which people get paid a certain sum of money every month. The main goal of this program is to alleviate poverty and replace other social programs that rely on bureaucratic involvement. 

What’s in it for residents who will receive free money in Catalonia?

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For 5,000 participants in Catalonia, this dream is about to become a reality! Adults will get €800 per month, while children under 18 will get €300. The participants will be spread across the entire region, although it is likely that “wealthier” individuals will be excluded. The trials are set to last for two full years.

What makes this trial unique?

Over 130 places in the world have had UBI trials, from Iran to Finland. According to Catalan News, where this Catalan UBI program differs from others is that it won’t be tied to employment or education. This means that regardless of privilege, almost anyone residing there is eligible to participate!

What are the benefits of UBI?

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Besides the obvious benefit of receiving free money, participants of previous UBI programs have enjoyed reduced stress and better diets. These programs also resulted in higher school attendance rates and greater spending in local communities. Furthermore, UBI programs are also more streamlined and less bureaucratic, as opposed to means-tested social security.

The participants selected to receive free money in Catalonia will be announced by September or October 2022. Meanwhile, the region’s UBI trials are set to begin on 1 Jan 2023

Also read: The Government Chips In: Travel to Barcelona and Pay Only Half the Price of Public Transport

With income inequality a prevalent problem throughout the world, it is heartening to see new initiatives that promote a solution. The promise of these UBI trials in Catalonia is hopefully a step in the right direction!

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Chow Cheng Yang
Chow Cheng Yang

Cheng Yang can often be found in his natural habitat — in his bed with a cup of coffee and a science-fiction novel. With his undying love for jazz music and old movies, he likes to think of himself as a bit of a hippie. When he's not busy with work or school, he spends his free time playing the guitar or practising calligraphy.