Chile could include universal basic income in its new constitution

The Fundamental Rights commission of the Constitutional Convention of Chile proposed 2 different articles to guarantee a basic income. There is reason to be hopeful.

By: Gabriela Cabana.

Original Post:

During January the Fundamental Rights commission of the Constitutional Convention of Chile proposed two different articles to guarantee a basic income. Following an increasing support and visibility of this proposal, the Chilean Basic Income Network collaborated with 11 members of the convention and proposed a basic income as a way of fulfilling the right to a vital minimum (mínimo vital) through a basic income. The articles proposed to be incorporated in the new constitution are:

“Article XXX (to be defined): Of the right to a vital minimum and to the universal basic income.

The State recognizes the human right to a vital minimum.

The State must provide each inhabitant of the Republic with a monetary transfer that is periodic, individual, unconditional and non-seizable.

To ensure this minimum, a sufficient amount of resources must be allocated within the Budget Law for the preservation of social services and benefits.

The law that regulates the organisation and implementation of the basic income will guarantee that, in the case of people in contexts of dependency, the administration of their income is in charge, totally or partially, of their caregivers.

Transitory Article XXX (to be defined): The government will submit a bill for the implementation of the right to a vital minimum and universal basic income within the first two years counted from the entry in force of this constitution”

The second set of articles to guarantee a basic income refers to a right to a guaranteed basic income and it has the following description:

“Permanent article.- Every person permanently residing in Chile will have the right to receive a basic income in money, which guarantees the basic necessities of existence. This income will be monthly, unconditional, individual, unattachable and independent of any other income. The law will determine its amount and provide the way for its transfer to be automatic, without any request or justification. The loss of basic income may not be applied as a sanction.

Transitory article.- The basic income will replace any subsidy with similar purposes and will be implemented in accordance with the progressiveness established by law. The President of the Republic, during the first year of his mandate, must account to the National Congress for the measures that he will adopt for the progression of the effectiveness of this right”.

The next step in this process is the discussion of these initial proposals in the wider assembly. To be approved, an article must gather ⅔ of votes from the 155 convention representatives.

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