Basic income in Finland

Next year Finland will begin a pilot project for the introduction of a basic income. 1,500 people will participate in the experiment. They will receive up to 750 euros on top of their low incomes from the state. Commentators are sceptical about the idea.

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Ilta-Sanomat (FI) /

Welfare system won't be simplified

Finland's plans for a basic income are far too complicated, the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat comments:

“Now the talk is of a minimum supplement of 550 euros per month, which corresponds to the current subsistence income. In addition recipients would be able to collect earnings-related unemployment benefit and housing subsidies. At some point the basic income would replace all tax-financed social benefits, but in the experiment automatic social benefits [such as child allowance] and means-tested benefits are all mixed up together. … The problem is simple. There is not enough money to finance a universal basic income that replaces all social benefits. … A partial basic income won't simplify the system but threatens only to make it even more complicated - which deprives its advocates of their principal argument.”

Aamulehti (FI) /

Don't expect too much

The liberal daily Aamulehti welcomes the basic income experiment but warns readers not to expect too much:

“The basic income is not a cure-all solution, but if the system can be reformed in such a way that it encourages people to work, shortens periods of unemployment and makes administration more efficient we're headed in the right direction. ... However, the experiment is too short-term to truly determine what impact the partial basic income would have on the labour market. There will be a long way to go between the test and the actual introduction of a basic income in Finland.”