The Dutch city of Utrecht will give unconditional monthly payments of about $1,000 to select citizens starting in January 2016 to see whether “basic income” can work as a means of welfare. Various other governments have resorted to unusual handouts to achieve certain ends:
City officials tried to boost public transport in November by raffling off prizes, including 8.8-lb. gold bars to citizens in possession of a city travel card. Road traffic is a major problem in Dubai, where only 13% of people use public transport.
On July 1, Russia’s regional Kemerovo government declared plans to give a sheep and a ram to 500 large families to provide them with meat and wool, ensuring food security. Officials have also handed out 1,000 cows and 5,200 rabbits since 2009.
The Dutch city paid homeless alcoholics in beer in 2013 as part of a novel street-cleaning initiative. Participants who collected litter for up to three days a week were given five cans of beer a day. Supporters liken the approach to methadone for heroin addicts