Thousands of unemployed to get $587 monthly income in Europe first


From Fox News: Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens a basic monthly income, amounting to 560 euros ($587), in a unique social experiment which is hoped to cut government red tape, reduce poverty and boost employment.

Olli Kangas from the Finnish government agency KELA, which is responsible for the country’s social benefits, said Monday that the two-year trial with the 2,000 randomly picked citizens who receive unemployment benefits kicked off Jan. 1. Those chosen will receive $587 every month, with no reporting requirements on how they spend it. The amount will be deducted from any benefits they already receive. The average private sector income in Finland is $3,600 per month, according to official data.

Kangas said the scheme’s idea is to abolish the “disincentive problem” among the unemployed.

The trial aims to discourage people’s fears “of losing out something”, he said, adding that the selected persons would continue to receive the $587 even after receiving a job.

A jobless person may currently refuse a low-income or short-term job in the fear of having his financial benefits reduced drastically under Finland’s generous but complex social security system.

“It’s highly interesting to see how it makes people behave,” Kangas said.  “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?”

The unemployment rate of Finland, a nation of 5.5 million, stood at 8.1 percent in November with some 213,000 people without a job — unchanged from the previous year.

The scheme is part of the measures by the center-right government of Prime Minister Juha Sipila to tackle Finland’s joblessness problem. Kangas said the basic income experiment may be expanded later to other low-income groups such as freelancers, small-scale entrepreneurs and part-time workers.


6 responses to “Thousands of unemployed to get $587 monthly income in Europe first

  1. The guaranteed minimum income idea is sweeping Europe:
    – Swiss will soon vote on a proposal for a basic income of 2,500 francs ($2,700) per month, following the success of a national petition.
    – Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is a fan.
    – Britain’s Green Party has adopted a version of the policy.

    Some IT billionaire has proposed the same in the U.S.

    Proponents argue that minimum income’s time has come because robots increasingly will replace human workers. But all this, of course, takes money — lots of it — which means more taxes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know about Finland, but here in the USA it would be a supplement to an income. It would not pay for rent in most places in the country. And the fact that Finland has an average of $3,600 income it seems it would be there as well.
    These people will have to do something else or continue to live on the street.
    But, as you show in Margaret Thatcher’s quote, this can’t last long. Unless the gov’t just keeps printing money like the US does.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Either the Finnish gov’t has to tax all that free money back to keep this going or they’ll print so much it’ll destroy their economy. Don’t they realize that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I know Finland’s “Universal Basic Income” thing really isn’t universal yet… but when it is, UBI requires magic (like money that doesn’t obey supply and demand) to work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This will become yet another source for invaders to fleece the system. Recently photos of McMansions (more like castles) in Pakistan were published. These massive dwellings were built by former “refugees” who came to countries like Norway. They quickly learned how easy it is to fool the system and naive people running the system, returned home and have generous monthly benefits sent to them for life – funds that stretch quite far in countries like Pakistan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like the USA with public aid benefits for the underemployed or unemployed especially the ones with numerous offspring. Also, have heard of folks faking disabilities here to get a pay check for free. Meanwhile people who have worked and paid for and now deserve disability get denied or have to go through the ringer to get it including often our injured and disabled vets.

    Liked by 1 person

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