Berlin Mayor Michael Müller backed that the controversial Hartz IV welfare system should be replaced by a “solidary basic income” model, as the politician told the Berliner Morgenpost.

Although the labour reforms had brought some success, there had also been “no social acceptance” of Hartz IV and said it was now time to “put an end to the existing system” and form a new way to work, the Berlin mayor also told the Morgenpost.

Hartz IV was adopted in the mid-2000s by the then red-green federal government under Gerhard Schröder (Social Democratic Party of Germany) and it was one of the biggest components of the major labour market reform.

Why It’s “Fake”

Müller emphasized that the model is not equatable to a universal basic income, as people would have to work to benefit from it.

Furthermore the payments would not be available to everyone. It would rather be there for the unemployed, but only when they are prepared to do the work.

Why It Should NOT Happen

A recent article titled “The Only Threat To Basic Income” talking about possible threats to the idea said:

“It has to be universal,

That’s why it is also called the “universal basic income”, because every citizen will receive it, without exceptions. That can be for everyone under 18 or 20, whatever the age will be, everyone will get it.”

But if a country apply a modified version of the basic income the whole idea will break, and more countries will want to do something similar, the results would be terrible, as the UBI is meant to be given to everyone unconditional.

If we allow modified basic income versions like this to get away, the whole idea will be “destroyed” and we’ll end up again with an old, failed and ineffective welfare-like model.

We should be very clear on that, the basic income has to be universal and unconditional, no modifications.