GenerationLibre, working with MPs and associations, started a petition on Change.org to call for the French government to launch a ‘socle citoyen’, a form of universal basic income inspired by our work.
The joint initiative of MP Valérie Petit, the philosopher Gaspard Koenig and Marc de Basquiat, economist and GenerationLibre expert, has received the political support of some forty-five MPs and a wide range of leading CEOs, academics, journalists and associations.
The ‘socle citoyen’ would be easy to establish after the recent reform allowing tax to be deducted at source in France. Thus, the tax administration would now been able to calculate the difference between an individual tax credit (i.e. a given sum of money received by everyone at the beginning of each month) and a flat income tax from the first euro earned.
Financial simulations of our universal basic income proposal demonstrate that such a format could be implemented without any ripple effect, either on public finances or social transfers. By means of a single package that would combine individual tax credit and a flat income tax from the first euro earned, the French welfare system would be significantly simplified.
The ‘socle citoyen’ is not a progressive or conservative policy: it belongs to all those who believe in mankind.
Far from encouraging idleness, the ‘socle citoyen’ protects the dignity of the most deprived individuals by sparing them intrusive administrative procedures and by treating them like citizen empowered with equal rights instead of marginalized people. The ‘socle citoyen’ also fosters risk-taking by offering the guarantee of never slipping into extreme poverty and by removing poverty traps since it ensures that work always pays off. It also helps each one of us to make the best use of our skills and aspirations.
Far from dismantling the welfare state, the ‘socle citoyen’ complements universal provisions (healthcare, childcare), insurance mechanisms (retirement, unemployment benefits) and other specific transfers (accommodation, disability support…) with a modern and stable safety net.