Finland's basic income trial boosted well-being, but not employment

Finland's basic income trial fails to spur employment

Finland's SHOCKING basic income experiment results: People love to get paid for not working A limited experiment with "basic income" in Finland failed to move the needle on unemployment or self-employment, but those who received no-strings-attached government money reported feeling happier, to the surprise of no one. "This is what I call the Nordic welfare model 2.0", he added.

Researchers from Kela are now busy analysing all of their results, to figure out what else - if anything - they can tell us about basic income's uses and shortcomings.

However, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) assessed that income taxes would have to increase to cover the cost of UBI, with Finland having to increase theirs by 30 percent if it rolled out the wealth distribution scheme across the country.

It said that the study of the employment effects of the basic income experiment is based on register data for the first year of the experiment.

Mr Simanainen said that while some individuals found work, they were no more likely to do so than a control group of people who weren't given the money.

Results at this stage are preliminary and relate only to the first year of the study, meaning Friday's findings are far from conclusive.

The effects of the basic income experiment on wellbeing was studied through a survey which was done by phone just before the experiment ended, Kela said.

Finnish officials say a nationwide experiment with basic income has not increased employment among those participating during the first year of the trial, but their general well-being seems to have increased.

The annual salary income on top of the basic income pay was on average 4,230 euros, while the comparison group people earned 21 euros more.

While employment levels did not improve, participants said they felt happier and less stressed. 17% of the recipients of a basic income and 25% of the control group experienced quite a high degree or a very high degree of stress.

The results showed 44 percent of the recipients worked, but the figure is only one percent more than that of those in the comparison group.

Participants were generally positive, however, with Tuomas Muraja, a 45-year-old journalist and author, saying the basic income had allowed him to concentrate on writing instead of filling out forms or attending jobseekers' courses. "They were also more confident in their future and in their ability to influence societal issues".

Sini Marttinen, 36, said that knowing her basic income was guaranteed had given her enough confidence to open a restaurant with two friends during the trial period. They could even continue to apply for unemployment benefits if the amount due to them was higher than the basic income, a frequent situation for families with children.

The participants in both the trial and the control group were selected randomly among those who received unemployment benefits from Kela in November 2016, Ylikanno told The Associated Press.

The country introduced a pilot scheme which provided 2,000 unemployed Finns aged 25-28 a monthly flat payment of €560 (£490; $685) from January 2017 until December 2018.

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