UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Child Poverty Insights - Simulating the costs and benefits of a Europe-wide Basic Income scheme for Children

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AUTHOR Horacio Levy, Social Policy Analyst at the OECD, Manos Matsaganis, Ass Professor Athens University,Holly Sutherland, Director of EUROMOD
ORGANIZATION
TYPE Lessons Learned/Good Practices
DATE 2014
TOPIC Child poverty and disparities
LANGUAGE English
ABSTRACT

What is Basic Income for Children?

Basic Income for Children (BIC) is a universal income transfer unconditionally granted to all families with children, without means test or work requirement. At first sight it might appear far-fetched to introduce a Europe-wide BIC (for EU countries), but similar schemes already exist in most European countries and might be thought of as a rather modest extension of current policies. The case for universal child benefits is twofold. On the one hand, if children to some extent can be viewed as a public good, shifting some of the costs involved from families with children to society at large must enhance social welfare (contributing to horizontal equity). On the other hand, because universal child benefits avoid the gaps in coverage associated with targeted policies, they improve the position of families at the bottom of the income scale who often fail to take up or are ineligible for assistance under targeted policies (contributing to vertical equity).


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