Finland test implementation of unconditional basic income

Finland intends to examine whether the implementation of unconditional basic income can simplify the social system of the country and lead to more unemployed to find work, according to Finance Apprise Journal. In January, 2000 randomly selected unemployed people will receive rather than their unemployment benefit an amount of 560 EUR per month, without any conditions. The money will not be taxed and will not have any financial penalty if the receivers earn extra cash. This test at national level would make Finland the first country in the world that will pay the unconditional basic income.

The testing group will learn shortly before the New Year, that they are part of the experiment. They can not abandon the test. All are aged between 25 and 58 years, who received in November 2016 benefits or some financial support for the unemployed.

The great hope behind the experiment is that people will be motivated to look for work. Many welfare recipients do not accept jobs part-time, because after taxation will receive a brand less money. The main unconditional basic income will be taxed even if the recipients make another 4,000 EUR per month extra.

“We think that this could be a great incentive for people to take at least one part-time job”, said leader of the project.

In addition, it is expected that underlying earnings will help to reduce bureaucracy. Currently unemployed Finns have to constantly fill out forms and submit applications. This is not necessary in obtaining unconditional basic income.

“It will also give people financial security”, said Markku Turunen, part from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland – Kela. “You can be sure that the money will have time on their accounts. What you do with them is their business. The authorities do not intend to monitor actions subjects because this could affect the test result”, added he.

The experiment will last two years, but Kela intends to expand after the first year to more recipients. However, the funds have not yet been approved by the government.

The critics of the scheme argue that it could be an obstacle for people who want to find work. However, as more and more jobs in many industries are automated, others argue that unconditional basic income will be required if at some point there are not enough jobs available.

Finland is not alone in trying to find a solution. In a referendum earlier this year Swiss citizens categorically rejected such a universal income policy to offer a monthly payment of 2,500 CHF (2300 EUR). However, such ideas are growing popularity in many other countries, such as Holland, Kenya and India.

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