Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens a basic monthly income, amounting to €560 (£477/US$587), in a unique social experiment that 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 on Monday that the two-year trial with 2,000 randomly picked citizens receiving unemployment benefits began on 1 January.
Those chosen will receive €560 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 €3,500 per month, according to official data.
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