By Mikko Annala
Finland is about to launch an experiment in which a randomly selected group of 2,000–3,000 citizens already on unemployment benefits will begin to receive a monthly basic income of 560 euros (approx. $600).
That basic income will replace their existing benefits. The amount is the same as the current guaranteed minimum level of Finnish social security support. The pilot study, running for two years in 2017-2018, aims to assess whether basic income can help reduce poverty, social exclusion, and bureaucracy, while increasing the employment rate.Read more
By Chris Weller for Tech Insider
Frans Kerver was working 12-hour days before the money started coming in.
For nine years, the 53-year-old freelance copywriter living in Groningen, the Netherlands, would rise at 7 a.m. and fall asleep at 1 a.m. His wife and three kids rarely saw him.
When Kerver began receiving a basic income last July, everything changed.Read more
A new PhD dissertation by Jurgen De Wispelaere explores the political and administrative feasibility of basic income, such as how to translate basic income from a worthy, general idea to something that is tangible and ready to implement.
De Wispelaere notes that basic income advocates face an uphill battle against politicians and a general public that is broadly skeptical about giving “money for nothing.” He also argues that too many people “think about basic income as a general idea rather than a set of specific policy proposals.”Read more
Roderick Benns interviewed Jurgen De Wispelaere earlier this year, a fellow at the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University, Montreal, about a basic income guarantee. De Wispelaere is a founding editor of the journal Basic Income Studies. He is currently in Finland helping this country to set up basic income pilot projects.
Benns: In what way can Canada draw from Nordic nations’ experiences when it comes to inequality? Out of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, what nation is on the right track these days when it comes to helpful social policy?
De Wispelaere: I am not an expert on Scandinavian social democratic policy regimes, but a few small points in response. The Nordic countries are very different from Canada and we have to be careful about learning lessons from other countries, or rather about thinking that we can apply models across very easily.