The Dutch city of Utrecht is about to start on an experiment which hopes to determine whether society works effectively with a universal, unconditional 'basic' income. The City has paired up with the University to establish whether the concept of a 'basic' income can work in real life. From January, some Utrecht job-seekers will receive around €1,300 a month with no strings attached. Critics are arguing that job-seekers will not try as hard to get a job; the proponents of the experiment believe that more people will be a little happier and will find a job anyway.
The population of Utrecht (330,000) is about double that of Dundee, but in our city where the very opposite of 'no strings attached' prevails and is manifested in a bewildering welter of sanctions, the Fairness Commission should encourage the City Council to watch the Utrecht experiment closely.