Finland will not extend initial basic income experiment beyond 2018
Finland decided to give universal basic income a two year trial for 2017-2018. Basic income is a form of social welfare where citizens get paid regularly without any restrictions. The idea is that this will reduce time spent on bureaucracy and the efforts can be spent on more productive things.
Universal basic income in Finland is an experiment for 2,000 random people selected in December 2016. The participants are paid 560 euros each month from the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2018.
The participants selected in the study received permanent unemployment benefits. In a study to compare results the trial group is compared to around 173,000 people in a similar situation, but who did not get selected to the group.
The study will be conducted at the end of the trial period in 2019 with interviews and registry data. The results are used to evaluate the effects of basic icome to employment and other factors. As of April 2018 there has been no decision to extend the trial beyond the original 2017-2018 period.
There have been arguments for and against the trial by different political parties who are preparing their recommendations for the future social welfare model in Finland. The Green Party, for example, would like to extend basic income trial with 10,000 employed citizens and hopes universal income would be in place in 2023.