Basic income is a good idea

Unconditional Basic Income: Not a good idea
Unconditional Basic Income: Not a good idea

In 2021, the DIE LINKE party is facing a dispute over whether it should include the demand for an unconditional basic income (UBI) in its program. The Federal Working Group on Basic Income is aiming for a membership decision after the federal election. Against this resistance is forming in the party. The three federal working groups Operation & Trade Union, Hartz IV and Socialist Left are presenting a brochure at the beginning of the year. In this they explain why they find the demands for a BGE fundamentally wrong, it would be harmful and divisive for DIE LINKE to include this demand in their program, and the members of the DIE LINKE party therefore have to vote no. In addition to a detailed criticism of the concept of the Federal Working Group on Basic Income, the brochure also unites voices from the party DIE LINKE against the BGE across wings and currents.

Ulrike Eifler and Jan Richter (BAG Company & Trade Union), Robert Schwedt (BAG Hartz IV) and Ralf Krämer (Socialist Left) explain:

“Our alliances represent important parts of the DIE LINKE party. We are facing enormous disputes over who should pay the costs of the Corona crisis and what role the DIE LINKE party will play in it. To do this, we need solidarity with trade unions, social associations and extra-parliamentary movements. The demand for an unconditional basic income would be illusory and would distract from the real disputes.

We find demands for a UBI wrong and disorienting. Instead, we rely on socialist alternatives to the prevailing politics and the capitalist economic and social order, as it is described in our party's basic program and forms the core of our political profile. DIE LINKE has developed convincing alternatives for structuring and financing social security. The key to this is good and livelihood securing work including a shorter and gender-equitable distribution of working hours, improved social security and a sanction-free minimum income and a socio-ecological restructuring that creates entrances and transitions for a democratic socialist economic order.

In conclusion, the following is very important to us: A NO in the membership decision does not mean that DIE LINKE will in future speak out against demands for a BGE, but that it will stick to the previous position. DIE LINKE does not take a final position on this question, but continues to discuss it controversially and is open. A NO is a YES to the unity and openness of the party, against the division and exclusion of those who decisively reject a UBI. We want people who would like a UBI to continue to be active in and for this party and to vote for it. You have to accept, however, that DIE LINKE is not a pro-UBI party. Supporters of a BGE in the LEFT, for whom the unity and breadth of the party is important, must therefore vote NO in the membership decision. "

Ulrike Eifler and Jan Richter Robert Schwedt Ralf Krämer

BAG Operation & Trade Union BAG Hartz IV Socialist Left

Please send any questions to

Ulrike Eifler (0176 9957 2179, [email protected]),

Jan Richter (0151 5416 1700, [email protected]) or

Ralf Krämer (0151 1426 8540, [email protected])

With the joint brochure and other activities, the three associations want to carry out extensive educational work in the DIE LINKE party until the membership decision, with the aim of ensuring that the members form a well-informed judgment and then vote against making the BGE demand a party's program.

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