With the goal to reduce poverty and boost employment, Finland is providing 2,000 unemployed citizens with a basic income of 560 Euros every month for two years. This money will not be taxed, and it will keep flowing whether these unemployed citizens work or not. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) will implement this experiment.
Helsinki University social policy professor Heikki Hiilamo said, “Basic income is kind of a symbol that we believe in your capacity, and we think that you are actually able to do things which are beneficial to you, and also for your community. It’s built on a kind of a positive view of human beings. People want to be autonomous. They want to improve their well-being.”
This trial aims to encourage more jobless people to look for work and discourage people’s fears of losing out on something. These selected persons would continue to receive this basic income even after getting a job. They won’t have to worry about losing unemployment benefits for the reason that many unemployed workers avoid taking the risk of starting a new company or joining a startup – because they fear their unemployment benefits will be canceled.
Olli Kangas, who oversees research at Kela said, “It’s highly interesting to see how it makes people behave. Will this lead them to boldly experiment with different kinds of jobs? Or, as some critics claim, make them lazier with the knowledge of getting a basic income without doing anything?”