Back in January, Finland began a universal basic income test. Every month 2000 unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58 receive a $600 stipend and will continue to do so unconditionally for the next two years.
KELA, Finland's social security institution, is running the pilot program. Marjukka Turunen is the director of change management for KELA and is also in charge of executing this program.
She says, "It replaces basic unemployment benefits, the sickness benefits and the parental benefits in this experiment. We want to see if this kind of mechanism reduces the bureaucracy."
“If [you] were to give people $1,500, there would be no incentive at all to go and seek out jobs for many people because you can easily survive with that here in Finland,” Turunen says. “We tried to figure out the amount that would be accurate and enough for these people to seek out jobs but not passivate themselves for staying at home and just not doing anything.”
According to Turunen, the people receiving this guaranteed basic income have reported feeling lower levels of stress because they’re able to take care of their basic needs.
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