Surprising Effects Of Finnish Experiment With Unconditional Basic Income

Contrary to what the program critics think, unconditional core income does not work on the unemployed Finns demoting.

On 1st January Finland started experimenting with unconditional basic income. 2 thous. Unemployed residents of the country by the end of 2018 will receive from the state 560 euros per month. Frequently affected money is guaranteed to the social minimum. Introduction of this solution is related to the unemployment in Finland. The population of the country is 5.4 million people, of which 2.5 million work – counting children and people who have exceeded the retirement age of unemployment among the Finnish population, remains at the level of 10%.


At present, unemployed people who would like to take up temporary employment or take some basic, poorly paid work, lose their entitlement to benefits and benefits. Thus, a certain group of people prefers to remain unemployed.

Introducing unconditional basic income will change that. However, program participants are not forced to actively search for a job and can spend the money freely. They also do not lose their rights after they find a job. Participants will follow 10 more years after the end of the experiment – to see what the long-term effects of this pilot program are.


What does unconditional basic income look like in practice? It turns out that – contrary to the concerns of those who criticize this system – does not work at all demotively unemployed.

On the contrary – encourages them to find work and realize their business ideas. Regular cash injection also lowers their stress.

One of the people drawn to participate in the program is Juha Jarvinen. It’s a young father who still lived a few years ago with a decorative window frame. He hoped he would find a new job, but all the proposals he had received so far were too feeble to give up on benefits. Thanks to unconditional basic income, casual undertakings such as roof painting, and a new film production company are registered.


Despite this, the program is harshly criticized by SAK, the largest Finnish trade union. Olli Kangas, who helped to introduce unconditional basic income in Finland, stresses that such criticism may be due to the fear of losing control – such trade unions are mostly men who have permanent jobs and full-time jobs. Otherwise, the idea is for those who represent part-time workers, such as cleaners. Generally 70% Finnish citizens are part of the unconditional base income supporters. However, the system is a burden on the budget. When respondents are asked whether they would be willing to pay higher taxes, the number of supporters drops to 35 percent.

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