Money problems: why Finland has given up on the basic income dream

When the Finnish government embarked on a trial of basic income it was lauded as bold, evidence-focused and innovative. The country became something of a standard bearer in a worldwide push towards basic income projects. In failing to commit to widening the scope of the trial in 2019 beyond its current group, however, that reputation is under threat.

Universal basic income (UBI) in its purest form is a payment that every citizen receives on a regular basis, without condition and as of right, in and out of work. Universal credit is paid on a household basis, is means tested and conditional, for example on recipients proving that they are actively searching for and accepting offers of work. The Finnish trial is not universal, as only 2,000 unemployed people were selected for it, but it is a basic income.

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