World Basic Income claims to be a "new practical solution to global inequality and poverty". The idea is that every person in the world, whatever their circumstances and no matter where they live, would be given money regularly in addition to what they earn at work or receive in state benefits.
The funding would come from, what the organisation World Basic Income (WBI) describes as, "harvesting a share of the wealth that our ancestors have built up over the centuries, and that the earth yields now". With the world producing total wealth of $76trillion a year, WBI reckons that a tiny part of it – around 1.2% - could fund a world basic income.
"This could be gathered through collective shareholdings in global companies, international taxes, such as a carbon tax or financial transaction tax, royalties on goods like intellectual property or the extraction of natural resources, or fees for the use of shared goods, such as charging airlines a fee for using our shared airspace" WBI states.
This Saturday, 4th February, Salford is to host the world's first ever World Basic Income Conference, at Sacred Trinity Church on Chapel Street, which will bring together experts, campaigners, academics and the public to 'discuss and explore the concept and practical applications of a world basic income'.
"Our vision is that in a decade or three, every country has its own national basic income, while the ultimate safety net and redistribution between countries is provided by a world basic income" says Paul Harnett, Development Economist and Co-Director of World Basic Income "It's a big vision, but a workable one, and no less than the world deserves. There is more than enough global wealth to pay for it, and the technology exists to put it into action immediately.
"No one is saying this is a simple scheme to put in place" he adds "But it is a real practical plan, which could end extreme poverty, share resources more fairly, and help to solve a raft of social problems."
Speakers at the conference include René Heeskens, from the Netherlands, founder of the Global Basic Income Foundation, Karine Daudicourt, French Consular Councillor and Hillel Steiner, from the University of Manchester.
A panel session on Building a Movement will be led by Jonathan Bartley, Co-Leader of the Green Party, Adam Parsons, of Share The World's Resources, and Salford's own Deputy Mayor, John Merry.
Many might feel that Councillor Merry should be concentrating on `harvesting' planning fees from greedy developers in Chapel Street's own back yard – but don't let that put you off...
The world is desperate for new humanitarian ideas that don't involve the rancid agenda attempting to be set by Donald Trump et al. Salford should be proud of this world first...
The World Basic Income Conference
Saturday 4th February 1pm - 6pm.
Sacred Trinity Church, Chapel Street, M3 5DW.
£7.50 standard price/£4 for those on low income/under 16s free
To book tickets – click here
For further details of the Conference and World Basic Income see the website – click here