The idea of a citizenship allowance has been there in my mind for quite a long time, and then the news came one day that the Swiss people turned down a similar proposal.
The need of such an allowance, which covers the basic necessities of a person, is not only justified but also unavoidable in times to come. Justified on many counts but I would put forth two. First, we the citizens of the country have equal claim to all the natural resources, which we have and are economically appropriated, and therefore, certain proportion of royalty must directly come to our kitty. Secondly, everyone's simple being is part of the national capital as s/he exists as a consumer and producer and since that capital is monetised as the national currency, a share of that value must accrue to each person directly also.
In future, such an allowance would be unavoidable as the automation and internet enabled services would make most of the jobs obsolete. Most of the people would be without a job and such an allowance would be a necessity.
At present, if the provision for the universal citizenship allowance is implemented, this instead of being a burden on public exchequer would in fact result in saving of a lot of public revenue and also there would be huge surplus. With this allowance, all the subsidies, artificial employment generation schemes and public funded services would not be needed, and moreover a universal regime of direct taxation could be implemented.
When every citizen is freed from the struggle for his/her earning basic necessities of life, we will see the rise of a empowered, responsible and creative citizenry. A universal citizenship allowance would be a more revolutionary democratic advance than adult suffrage.
Niraj Kumar Jha