Fife councillors will consider the introduction of a Citizens Basic Income (CBI) on Thursday.
The area is part of a feasibility study, along with North Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Glasgow, which is exploring whether Scotland should create a basic income for every person to replace the benefits system.
Labour councillor Judy Hamilton, one of Fife Council’s representatives on the study group, hopes members of the policy and co-ordination committee will back proposals for a pilot scheme when they meet this week.
She said: “The Covid crisis has shown us how fragile our communities are and we are seeing need that has not surfaced before – and councils are rising to support our communities in new ways.
“Many people now are talking about the “new normal”, that we all have to do things differently, to be more aware of each other and look for innovative ways to support and protect everyone.
“A CBI scheme presents the opportunity to fundamentally reform our tax and benefits system and do just that.”
A number of different models are being considered. At its core, the system would involve a cash payment for every individual in the country without any requirement to work or qualify for it. The sum would be intended to be enough to cover the basics of life and would serve as a replacement for all existing benefit payments.
Mrs Hamilton said the system could recognise the value of carers who are currently unpaid, support parents to provide childcare, provide a stimulus and a safety net to support people into small new businesses and address poverty in communities.
“It is a massive idea, whose time has come – and it is only by a pilot scheme that we will really recognise if the idea can be realised,” she said.
“We need to have courage and take this chance now.”