Finns test basic income policy

EPA/KIMMO BRANDT

A photograph made available on 05 Jnaury 2017 showing clients in Finnish Social Insurance Institution Kela office in Helsinki, Finland 04 January 2017.

Finns test basic income policy


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Finland’s biggest trade union has declared the country’s experiment with basic income as unworkable, uneconomical and ultimately useless.

As reported by Bloomberg, the labour union said the results of a two-year pilot programme will fail to sway its opposition to a welfare-policy idea that’s gaining traction among those looking for an alternative in the post-industrial age.

“We think it takes social policy in the wrong direction,” said Ilkka Kaukoranta, chief economist of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), which has nearly one million members.

Since January, a group of unemployed Finns aged between 25 and 58 have been receiving a stipend of €560 per month. The amount isn’t means-tested and is paid regardless of whether the recipient finds a job, starts a business or returns to school.

According to Bloomberg, the Finnish experiment may help answer questions like: “Does it work? Is it worth it? And the most fundamental of all: Does it incite laboriousness or laziness?”

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