A Signature Initiative for UBI in Germany has Started Again

“Unconditional Basic Income: An initiative starts again”

A Signature Initiative for UBI in Germany has Started Again
A Signature Initiative for UBI in Germany has Started Again

Publication by: NTV/dpawww.n-tv.de

Translation by: Raymond R. Watson, M.A.

The Hamburg initiative for an unconditional basic income gets a new start. A good two months following a defeat at the Hamburg Constitutional Court, with revived draft legislation the initiative begins collecting signatures anew.

A good two months after the Hamburg Constitutional Court’s unfavorable ruling, the initiative for an unconditional basic income made a fresh new start. In September 2023 the initiative announced that it had comprehensively revised the contested draft law and based on this was starting to collect new signatures. The initiative wanted to collect at least 15,000 signatures. If successful, a referendum would follow in Summer 2024 and at the latest by the German parliament elections in 2025.

“Hamburg is testing basic income” – that remains to be the goal, said Rainer Ammermann of the Hamburg People’s Initiative.” We have carefully examined the Constitutional Court’s comments and submitted a revised draft.” It was believed the initiative would be successful: “Hamburg will be the first federal state to test crucial elements of an unconditional basic income – funded by the state and scientifically examined” said Ammermann.

The Hamburg Constitutional Court declared the draft law of the popular initiative submitted in 2020 inadmissible on 12 July 2023. In an unanimous decision the judges concluded that a popular initiative for a basic income was inherently possible – but not in the way the initiators had intended. From the court’s point of view the initiators’ wording of the model project was partly contradictory, unclear and incomplete. Voters could not adequately determine advantages or disadvantages as well as not fully understand the consequences of the project, the court explained at the time.

The initiative “Hamburg soll Grundeinkommen testen!”(Hamburg should test basic income) collected signatures for a draft law to “test an unconditional basic income in the state of Hamburg” in early 2020 and also garnered the necessary 10,000 supporters. The Hamburg Parliament had not passed the sought-after law in spite of this, thus initiative in turn applied for a referendum in September 2020 – whereupon the city’s Senate called in the Hamburg Constitutional Court.

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