In Barcelona, on 31st May, Laia Ortiz, deputy mayor of the Barcelona City Council in charge of the Social Rights Department, introduced the B-MINCOME project (Combining guaranteed minimum income and active social policies in deprived urban areas of Barcelona) to the media.
The key message transmitted to the media was that the guaranteed income can be a facilitator of combatting poverty: it assures a minimum income and expands the poors’ freedom. It also expands their ability to take decisions, it empowers them to develop by their own strategies to become less dependent on social services.
The guaranteed income, to be launched in the most dperived and poor urban areas of the Barcelona, the Besos neighbourhood, tries to abandon paternalistic perspectives of inclusion policies, where charity and ex-post mechanisms confronts social rights of those who are in a deprived situation.
The specificity of the Barcelona pilot is to test and to evaluate: 4 passive policies + 4 active policies on target population, and compare them with a group of control (counterfactual), with 4 different incomes: from conditionality to unconditionally, and from a limited total income (means tested) to an unlimited income (Basic Income) and with active policies for generating income: Training and temporary public job placement; entrepreneurship in social and cooperative economy; flat refurbishment for rooms renting and participation in the community.
Barcelona will test these new solutions in the framework of the UIA (Urban Innovative Action) scheme, a European program inviting cities to find more effective and efficient answers to mitigate urban poverty and social exclusion.
During the press conference, Mrs Laia Ortiz was accompanied by M Lluis Torrens, director of the Social Innovation Department of the Barcelona City Council and M Marc Balaguer, director of IVALUA (Catalan Institute of Evaluation of Public Policies) one of the delivery partners of B MINCOME. The UIA Secretariat was represented virtually through the intervention of Raffaele Barbato.