On the 26.10.2020, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker introduced his model of a Net Basic Income to the German Parliament’s Petitions Committee, with the intent of a direct implementation in times of the Corona-Crisis, and with the option to extend it to a full Basic Income once the crisis has passed.

Susanne Wiest’s Petition to implement a Universal Basic Income during the crisis was signed by 176.134 people, making it one of the most signed petitions in german history. In order to be able bring forward a concrete implementation proposal at the hearing, she asked Prof. Neumärker to illustrate his model.

Delegates of all parties of the german parliament asked questions about the Net Basic Income. Governmental representatives were also questioned about the government’s relief efforts during the Corona crisis in comparison to the possibilities of a Net Basic Income, as well as the possibilities of a quick implementation.

The delegates’ questions revealed a mainly critical attitute towards the model. They adhered to the priciple of individualized and requirement based support, even though it currently doesn’t reach all those in need, as Susanne Wiest and Prof. Neumärker emphasized. Susanne Wiest also pointed out that a Universal Basic Income constitutes a basic right to an income for everyone.

Some delegates suspected a discrepancy between the idea of a Universal Basic Income and the model of a Net Basic Income. An immediate implementation of the Net Basic Income was declared impossible by the governmental representatives. One delegate asked why people whose income isn’t affected by the crisis – such as parliamental delegates – should receive a basic income along with the people who actually need the support. The Net Basic Income in fact tries to give an answer to that question.

The hearing only allowed a rudimentary illustration of the Net Basic Income. With that, it is under discussion, and allows a further elaboration.

In comparison to the hearling of Susanne Wiest’s first petition regarding a Universal Basic Income ten years ago, the delegates were better informed and moreopen to the idea of a Basic Income. However, the parliament decided to reject the petition.


You can watch here the recording of the hearing on the german parliament’s media center and a discussion with Susanne Wiest, where she talks about the hearing and the next steps for the petition (both videos in german).