By Jose Nino
Finland’s “free money” experiment has come to a grinding halt.
Kela, the government agency in charge of redistributing benefits, revealed that the “basic income experiment did not increase the employment of participants during the first trial year”
In January 2017, Kela and the Finnish Centre for Economic Research teamed up to carry out a two-year experiment that randomly selected 2,000 unemployed Finns and gave them a monthly basic income of approximately $634. Mind you, these individuals were given the income stipend regardless of whether they were actively seeking employment.
Miska Simanainen, a Kela researcher, informed the BBC that the experiment was conducted in order “to see if it would be a way of reforming the social security system”.
Simanainen asserts that the trial had not “failed”, and instead claims that it “is not a failure or success – it is a fact, and [gives us] new information that we did not have before this experiment.”
Given the Finnish government’s decision to pull the plug on this project so quickly, Simanainen’s spin on Finland’s Universal Basic Income project should be called into question.