The Covid-19 outbreak has meant countries across the globe have effectively had to shut down, with many governments imposing draconian measures on the lives of billions of people.
The social, educational and economic ramifications of the confinement measures, which vary in their application
To be sure, the International Monetary Fund now expects the global economy in 2020 to suffer its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The dramatic downgrade to this year's growth
As of Thursday, more than 2 million people had contracted Covid-19 worldwide, with 137,078 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
'We have got to protect everyone'
The IMF describes universal basic income as an income support mechanism, in which regular cash payments are intended to reach all (or a very large) portion of the population with no (or minimal) conditions.
Guy Standing, a research professor in development studies at SOAS, University of London, told CNBC via telephone that there was no prospect of a global economic revival without a universal basic income.
Standing, who has been an advocate for a universal basic income for more than three decades, said he believed the
"It's almost a no-brainer," he said. "We are going to have some sort of basic income system sooner or later, but I think getting the establishments of many countries to do it is like pulling the proverbial tooth. There's a big institutional resistance to it because of the implications of moving in this direction."
"Going back and doing what they did after 2008 would be a disaster."
Some governments, including the U.K., Austria and Denmark, have introduced wage subsidies in an effort to protect households from an expected economic downturn. They are intended to help protect jobs and cover the salaries of millions of people.
Standing dismissed such an approach as "regressive" and "inefficient," arguing wage subsidies of this nature would only ever result in a large number of vulnerable people being excluded from the system. "It's atrocious economics."
"So, for me, all of the arguments are tilting us toward saying: 'We've got to protect everybody. We are all vulnerable.'"
'A level unifier'
Calvino said the government's wish was to make a nationwide basic wage a permanent instrument that supports
If the policy is implemented successfully over the coming weeks, it would make Spain the first country in Europe to introduce a universal basic income on a long-term basis.
Denis Doyle | Getty Images
"In the U.S., they
The first wave of stimulus relief checks
The checks are worth $1,200 for individuals with adjusted gross income below $75,000 and $2,400 for couples earning
It comes as part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill passed late last month. The direct payments are designed to help mitigate the financial strain caused by Covid-19.
"If anything, it makes the case for the need to have some kind of level unifier so that households can avoid financial ruin," Birch said.
She warned one-off payments would be an "imperfect example" for basic income in the world's largest economy, given that households would not be able to plan on receiving a second payment and because people are typically hesitant to spend money in the wake of an economic downturn.
There's a "big divide" between the U.S.