BASIC INCOME IN OLD QUATINGA
THE FIRST UNCONDITIONAL INCOME TRANSFER EXPERIENCE
Phase 1 - donor consortium
Quatinga Velho is a rural village located in the district of Quatinga, in the city of Mogi das Cruzes, State of São Paulo, with an estimated number of approximately 100 residents.
It was chosen as the location for the implementation of the Citizen's Basic Income project because it is a needy community, already known by ReCivitas, and with geographic characteristics that allow for better monitoring of this pilot project.
Extreme rigor was necessary in conducting this project, so that it was possible to obtain the necessary results for the process of elucidation, understanding of the concept, and effectiveness of the Citizen's Basic Income.
This never made this experimental project an experiment, with application of methods that, even if they made it more scientific, would make it much less human. Methods that could even harm their own development, since their primary purpose, much more than economic or academic, was human. The search for the freedom and dignity of the people involved, who were never considered objects of study, nor beneficiaries, but citizens.
The project started in a simple way, as it could not be otherwise. The invitation for each of the residents to participate in that proposed reality, to have the unconditional, right, human right to a monthly capital, paid without any counterpart, but as a consequence of their citizenship.
The value was also always modest. The amount paid to each of the participants, from BRL 30.00 (thirty reais) it is entirely funded by civil society, even through donations, while we are seeking to implement one of the arms of the BIGBank project – the Third Sector Investment Fund. There is no value or incentive of any kind from the state. Also, any project cost was never deducted from donations. These have always been, and still are, absorbed by ReCivitas, through its own resources.
On October 25, 2008, after hand in hand the first payment of the citizenship basic income, ReCivitas made known not only its intentions, but actions: the concept was no longer abstract, the idea of basic income came out of the paper.
For five years, ReCivitas makes monthly payments to each resident of Quatinga Velho who joined the project. For five three years, Quatinga Velho, this small and simple rural community, was an exception in your country.
A country with the grandeur of Brazil, and with a law (Federal Law no. 10.835/2004 ) in force since January 2004 which, right in its article 1, determines:
"As of 2005, the basic citizenship income is established, which will constitute the right of all Brazilians residing in the country and foreigners residing for at least 5 (five) years in Brazil, regardless of their socioeconomic status, to receive annually , a monetary benefit.”
However, the Brazilian State, in eight years, has not allocated a single cent to a Brazilian, even in terms of basic income. And he still doesn't want to call the cat a hare and insist that the Bolsa Família program is its first phase. There are no formal, logical, legal, philosophical conditions to support this (see study on the subject “The Good Intention And The Hard Truth Of Basic Income In Brazil. The Reason Why Bolsa Família Should Not Be Considered As A Basic Income Program”). The law still depends on a regulation that, due to the slowness and inefficiency of the state machine, does not yet exist.
It is the 93 residents who, from 2008 until today, make it possible to affirm that Brazil receives the Basic Citizen's Income. Unfortunately, this is not the reality of the overwhelming majority, including the nearly 5 million Brazilians who live without any income. But if it's up to us, that changes.
The modesty of the amount is relative. What is modest can be essential, depending on what we make the essence of our lives. The amount paid has always been possible, as it cannot be detached from it. But for the families of Quatinga Velho, like many in our country, what is possible is that they gave life, very often, a possibility.
These are cases such as the mother who can allocate her income to the development and growth of her young daughter, without compromising the expenses of the house. Like that of two young people who were able to buy a motorcycle together to move between the farms where they are farmers.
That of the woman who discovered that she had a chronic health problem and was able to go to the doctor and buy the medication for her monthly treatment. From the mother who was able to save her child from pneumonia, with the purchase of medicine. From the mother who buys her medicines in installments at the Pharmacy, who knows about her right and the certainty of income, just like the local Grocer.
From the families who were able to give meat and fruit to their children, school supplies, clothes. From mothers who had better pregnancies, with babies born without malnutrition, which was so frequent before. From the child who can read for today having glasses. From the families who built their houses, gardens, nurseries, chicken coops.
Who paid their debts in banks. See more in our results reports and in the independent studies carried out on the project. (include link to part of the website - Transparency)
The project traveled the world, going from the Americas, passing through many countries in Europe until reaching Japan.
It is a reference in studies for the implementation of Basic Income in other countries, the basis of study in many master's and doctoral theses that we have helped along these years, providing not only written material, answering questionnaires, but also receiving scholars in loco.