Finland works with universal basic income scheme

Observer Report

Helsinki

Finland’s experimental scheme to provide its citizens with a basic income, regardless of employment, launched earlier this week. The two-year pilot scheme will provide 2,000 unemployed Finnish citizens, aged between 25 and 58, with a monthly basic income of 560 euros ($581.48) that will replace their other social benefits. These citizens will continue to receive the basic income even if they find work. Kela, the organization which runs Finland’s social security systems and is running the pilot scheme, hopes the basic income experiment will boost employment, because the current system can potentially discourage the unemployed to find work as their earnings reduce the benefits they may receive. “For someone receiving a basic income, there are no repercussions if they work a few days or a couple of weeks,” said Marjukka Turunen, head of Kela’s Legal Affairs Unit, in a press release. “Incidental earnings do not reduce the basic income, so working and self-employment are worthwhile no matter what.” Kela intends to test various basic income models and hopes to expand the sample size in 2018.

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