04 January, 2017
The initiative which has taken by the country is just like a social experiment to cut government red tape, diminish scarcity and increase employment. It will also allow unemployed people to pick up odd jobs without losing their benefits. Experts say this will actually encourage the jobless to seek out employment opportunities (didn't these same people say welfare was not a deterrent to seeking employment?). The country now has an unemployment rate of around 8.1 percent.
Less than a year after Switzerland held the world's first nationwide vote on a basic monthly income, Finland has become the first country in Europe to provide it experimentally for some unemployed citizens.
The hope is that once unemployed people receive a guaranteed income they'll feel incentivised to look for a job and generally to improve their lives.
Recipients, who are randomly-selected, are still entitled to receive the benefit even if they find work - a contrast to current rules, under which unemployed Finns lose benefits commensurate with their in-work income.
At its heart, that's the problem with all test of Basic Income; When individuals know that it's only a test and that the benefits aren't permanent, they aren't likely to change their behavior. To put that into perspective, the average income for a private sector employee in the country is £3,500 (about $3646). Under Universal Basic Income (UBI), people will receive a standard amount of cash for just being alive. Those chosen will receive 560 euros every month, with no reporting requirements on how they spend it.
If it is successful, the messy system of social security in Finland will be resolved.
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Kela's research team recommends expanding the pilot program to include people with small incomes in 2018.
A jobless person may now refuse a low-income or short-term job in the fear of having his financial benefits reduced drastically under Finland's generous but complex social security system.
"However I am critical how this experiment is tested because the participants still have to claim other social benefits such as housing income".
"It's highly interesting to see how it makes people behave".
The basic income experiment is one of the key projects formulated in the programme of Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila's government.