Teurneuzen aims to be first Dutch town to carry out basic income trial

Teurneuzen aims to be first Dutch town to carry out basic income trial

The town of Teurneuzen close to the Belgian border hopes to become the first local authority in the Netherlands to experiment with a basic income concept, the Volkskrant said on Monday. Town councillors will vote on Thursday on whether to give 20 people currently living on welfare payments a monthly income of €933 with no strings attached. Several other towns and cities, including Wageningen, Utrecht, Tilburg, Nijmegen and Groningen are also keen to experiment with basic incomes. Last year, the government agreed to give more leeway for experiments with different forms of income and welfare benefits. For example, in some places, welfare claimants will not have to apply for jobs but will be allowed to keep more of any addition earnings. Teurneuzen, which has a population of 25,000 and 1,136 people on welfare benefits, plans to select its basic income recipients from a pool of people who have been claiming bijstand for more than three years. 'These are people who can't be motivated and have given up looking for a job,' alderman Cees Liefting told the paper. 'We have a moral duty to try to find new tools to stimulate people in a hopeless situation, hence the experiment.' Supporters of the basic income concept say it will allow everyone to decide whether to work, study, start a company or, for example, take care of elderly family members. Why we should give free money to everyone  More >