The president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has announced the creation of a “Guaranteed Minimum Income” for all citizens. The president said, “Beneficiaries will be all of our fellow citizens who have an income below that which can assure them a dignified living, irrespective of age, class or professional situation.” According to Cyprus Mail, the policy will begin in June 2014. The exact level of the grant will be determined between now and then, but every citizen would be guaranteed “the minimum needs for a dignified living in a European Country.”
If the program goes into affect as described, it will be the world’s first full “Basic Income Guarantee” (BIG) as defined by the U.S. Basic income Guarantee Network: “government ensured guarantee that no one’s income will fall below the level necessary to meet their most basic needs for any reason.” However, the details of the program available so far indicate that it will be the negative income tax version (NIT) and not the basic income (BI) version of BIG. The difference is that NIT gets everyone to the minimum by paying only those whose incomes are below some minimum level, while BI gets everyone to the minimum, pay paying all citizens regardless of means. What will actually happen remains to be seen.
For more information, see “President announces ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ program,” Cypress Mail, July 26, 2013