Finland’s universal basic income experiment will end next year, and lawmakers there are quietly moving toward a different welfare approach.
The basic income program in Finland, which was praised as cutting edge when it was announced, pays $690 to 2,000 Finns each month, with no conditions.
Finland’s social security institution, Kela, selected participants at random from people ages 25 to 58 who were unemployed. Initially, the program was supposed to be expanded this year to include workers as well as non-workers, but instead the monthly payouts to these individuals will end in 2019.
The basic income experiment was proposed as a solution to the unemployment rate in Finland, which reached a 17-year high of 10% in 2015. The payouts were designed to support citizens while encouraging them to find work, since the country’s other welfare benefits don’t apply to people once they are employed.
But in December, the Finnish parliament passed a bill that requires jobseekers to work 18 hours minimum for three months, making unemployment benefits contingent on finding some work.
“Right now, the government is making changes that are taking the system further away from a basic income,” Kela researcher Miska Simanainen told the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet....MORE