Since the beginning of last year, 2000 Finns are getting money from the government each month – and they are not expected to do anything in return.
The participants, aged 25-58, are all unemployed, and were selected at random by Kela, Finland’s social-security institution.
Instead of unemployment benefits, the participants now receive $690 per month, tax free.
Should they find a job during the two-year trial, they still get to keep the money.
The existing unemployment benefits were so high, the Finnish government argued, and the system so rigid, an unemployed person might choose not to take a job as they would risk losing money by doing so – the higher your earnings, the lower your social benefits. The basic income was meant as an incentive for people to start working.
And Finland has silently killed its basic income experiment.