Contrary to reports, basic income study still at preliminary stage

There have been misleading reports in the media about the Finnish experimental study on a Universal Basic Income. Only a preliminary study to explore possibilities has begun.

On Monday, December 7, many international media-outlets published misleading stories alleging that a basic income scheme would be launched in Finland in the near future.

“This is not correct. At this point only a preliminary study about the basic income has started”, says Professor Olli Kangas who is leading the study at Kela (Social Insurance Institution of Finland).

An experimental study on a universal basic income began in October. A working group of researchers from a range of organisations under the project leadership of Kela is exploring ways in which to carry out an experimental study focusing on the implementation of a universal basic income scheme. The project is part of the Finnish Government's analysis, assessment and research plan for 2015.

The objective is to identify and compare different models

The Finnish Government's programme calls for the implementation of a universal basic income experiment. The purpose of the experiment is to find ways to reshape the social security system in response to changes in the labour market. The experiment will also explore how to make the system more empowering and more effective in terms of providing incentives for work. Further objectives include the reduction of bureaucracy and the streamlining of the complicated benefits system.

A preliminary study will seek to identify a model for implementing the universal basic income experiment. The experiment in turn will evaluate the effect of a basic income in different population groups and produce an overall cost estimate.

Next steps

  1. The preliminary study was launched at the end of October 2015.
  2. A review of existing information and experiences with universal basic income models trialled in other countries will be presented to government ministries and agencies in spring 2016.
  3. Following on from this, an analysis of experimental models and study designs will be produced in the second half of 2016.
  4. The universal basic income experiment is planned to be launched in 2017. “We are publishing newsletter about the study in English so that the project can be easily followed”, Kangas says.

More information:

Experimental study on a universal basic income

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