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Finland will not expand its groundbreaking basic income trial

Finland will not expand its groundbreaking basic income trial
[Photo: Kaufdex/Pixabay]

Finland’s government has rejected calls for the expansion of its universal basic income trial, reports the BBC. Finland initiated the trial in 2017, which saw 2,000 unemployed Finns receiving a monthly payment of €560 (about $685), regardless of whether they found a job or not. Supporters of universal basic income say a UBI gives people a safety net that could encourage more of them to take risks to become entrepreneurs and provides income stability in an economy where unstable jobs like those found in gig work are becoming more widespread.

Finland’s Social Insurance Institution (Kela) was hoping to expand the trial to see how employed people reacted when they too received a regular monthly UBI payment from the government, but the Finnish government rejected the request for extra funds. The universal basic income trial will now come to an end later this year.

A February study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that Finland’s income tax could increase by almost 30% under basic income and the poverty rate could go from 11.4% to 14.1%.

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