Fife will help shape a basic income pilot following a successful joint bid to the Scottish Government for £250,000.
Fife, North Ayrshire, City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City Councils are working together with NHS Health Scotland and the Improvement Service to explore the feasibility of pilots in their areas.
The aim of the scheme is to reduce poverty and inequality and find a possible route to a fairer and simpler welfare system.
Already running in other countries, including Canada and the Netherlands, the different models help provide people with a basic income they can use whether they want to earn, learn, care or set up a business.
Now, with funding in place work to explore the feasibility of a Scottish scheme can progress.
Fife Council co leaders, Labour’s David Ross and the SNP’s David Alexander welcomed the investment.
Mr Ross said: “I look forward to working with colleagues and partners over the coming months to test out what contribution this approach might make to achieving our common aim of tackling poverty in our communities.”
He explained the funding meant the steering group can now move ahead with the design phase of the project.
Mr Alexander added: “This is an exciting step forward.
“We’ve now got up to two years to come back to the Scottish Government with our proposals and turn our ideas into reality.”
Communities Secretary Angela Constance said the Scottish Government was committed in its programme for government to support work that seeks to better understand the impact of CBI on poverty and inequality, including the costs, benefits and savings.
“I am delighted that the four local authorities are working together on their plans for pilots and look forward to seeing this develop,” she added.
North Ayrshire council leader Joe Cullinane said too many children were living in poverty and too many adults could not find decent work and so bold reforms were needed.
Glasgow City treasurer Allan Gow added that while the feasibility of a basic income still needed to be established, what was clear was that the current UK welfare system wasn’t capable of meeting people’s real needs.
Edinburgh’s poverty champ Cammy Day said he was keen to see the initiative developed in the capital.
The four local authorities will report back to the Scottish Government in September next year before a final decision on the pilots will be made.