An unconditional basic income? How Dutch citizens justify their opinions about a basic income and work conditionality. Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy.
Abstract: This article focuses on one of the core but controversial features of a universal basic income (UBI): its unconditionality. Using qualitative in-depth interviews collected in the Dutch municipality of Tilburg in 2018–19, we examine the arguments underlying popular opinions about a UBI and work conditionality. The analysis suggests that these arguments can be interpreted from two theoretical perspectives. On the one hand, respondents make frequent use of deservingness criteria referring to the characteristics of welfare recipients, such as their need and work willingness. On the other hand, they justify their opinions using arguments related to the characteristics of welfare schemes, such as their administrative and financial feasibility. Our findings offer important insights concerning political actors who support (or oppose) the real-world implementation of a UBI.