First instituted at the turn of the 18th Century PD, as part of the Economic Bill of Rights, the BLS was a source of conflict between the Dolists and the People's Republic's government. The Dolists felt that they were entitled to an ever increasing BLS, for which the government was incapable of providing due to the need to maintain the sprawling bureaucracy and huge military. Efforts to freeze or lower the stipend caused growing violence against the government by the Dolists and other groups. Under the DuQuesne Plan, Haven annexed neighbouring star nations in order to acquire the economic assets needed to prop up the BLS and other state expenditures, but this in turn required an increased military presence to pacify occupied systems and deal with increasingly well-armed targets.
In 1900 PD, Secretary of the Economy Walter Frankel advocated against lowering of the BLS for more money towards the military, but he was overruled by the President to instead start expanding Haven's borders towards the Basilisk System. (HH1prologue)
In 1904 PD, the government considered limiting the BLS increases to the rate of inflation, thereby freezing its buying power. This plan was leaked by Secretary of Public Information Duncan Jessup in order to gauge public opinion. This provoked widespread riots, and Frankel was assassinated soon afterwards, possibly by the Citizens' Rights Union. Frankel's successor George de la Sangliere warned about curtailing the BLS if the CRU did assassinate Frankel. By this time, nearly two-thirds of Haven's population was drawing a BLS payment. (HH3prologue)