December 6, 2015

WE ALL KNOW WHERE WE'RE HEADED:

Finland plans to give every citizen a basic income of 800 euros a month (Olivia Goldhill, 12/05/15, Quartz)

The Finnish government is currently drawing up plans to introduce a national basic income. A final proposal won't be presented until November 2016, but if all goes to schedule, Finland will scrap all existing benefits and instead hand out 800 euros per month--to everyone.

It sounds far-fetched, but it's looking likely that Finland will carry through with the idea. Whereas several Dutch cities will introduce basic income next year and Switzerland is holding a referendum on the subject, there is strongest political and public support for the idea in Finland. [...]

It may sound counterintuitive, but the proposal is meant to tackle unemployment. Finland's unemployment rate rose to 11.8% in May (though it was back down to 8.7% in October) and a basic income would allow people to take on low-paying jobs without personal cost. At the moment, a temporary job results in lower welfare benefits, which can lead to an overall drop in income.

Previous experiments have shown that universal basic income can have a positive effect. Everyone in the Canadian town of Dauphin was given a stipend from 1974 to 1979, and though there was a drop in working hours, this was mainly because men spent more time in school and women took longer maternity leaves. Meanwhile, when thousands of unemployed people in Uganda were given unsupervised grants of twice their monthly income, working hours increased by 17% and earnings increased by 38%.

Posted by at December 6, 2015 8:37 AM

  

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