Finland will not expand its groundbreaking basic income trial


The Finnish government has decided not to extend the limited experiment of the unconditional basic income, which has triggered a great worldwide interest. During the experiment, the 2,000 participants are receiving a Euro 560 monthly basic income payment, which is independent of any other income they may have and not conditional on undertaking an active search for employment. They rejected extra funding'.

Olli Kangas, who helped to design the experiment, told the BBC: 'The eagerness of the government is evaporating.

The 20 million-euro program, which seeks to reform Finland's social security system, ends in December, and Prime Minister Juha Sipila's center-right government will assess initial results after that.

There are now no plans to continue or expand the experiment after 2018. The idea is that universal basic income would make up for some of those lost benefits and allow people to keep working. "I regret that the experiment will not be continued, that was an interesting and useful experience", Kela's representative Olla Kangas said, as quoted by the Yle broadcaster. "We should have had extra time and more money to achieve reliable results".

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It said the data it manages to collect and analyse would be released by the end of 2019 or the start of 2020.

However, the introduction of universal credit can reduce the poverty rate to 9.7% and reduce the complexity of the social welfare system.

The basic income idea has been taken up by U.S. venture capitalist Sam Altman. The 2,000 participants in the program, all unemployed, were randomly selected. Other countries including Holland, Canada, and Kenya have also experimented with basic income schemes. In 2016, Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all.