Jump to content

Finland and the Basic Income experiment

Recommended Posts

The Basic Income, as focused upon in Finland at present, is fundamentally one of a regularly awarded sum distributed to each and every citizen, without means test and, importantly, unconditionally - i.e. without any requirement to work or demonstrate willingness to work. This last aspect is a crucial point to bear in mind as the Finland basic income experiment is likely to generate some significant negative press over the coming weeks, and debate is certain to focus on precisely that spurious aspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incorrect, it is replacing benefit payments to the unemployed, so not ‘everyone’ gets it. The idea is that it provides a minimal income that can be added to by obtaining work.

 

the experiment isn’t new and so far findings are that it does not encourage the unemployed to seek meaningful income to top it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s an article in today’s Telegraph by Ross Clark on this very subject, although he says it’s  (£490/month) only being paid to 2000 randomly selected unemployed and the results are somewhat inconclusive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, tzijlstra said:

Incorrect, it is replacing benefit payments to the unemployed, so not ‘everyone’ gets it. The idea is that it provides a minimal income that can be added to by obtaining work.

 

the experiment isn’t new and so far findings are that it does not encourage the unemployed to seek meaningful income to top it up.

The Basic Income model is one of universality. It is awarded to every citizen, rich or poor, in or out of work and without condition. The Finland experiment has skewed these basic aspects .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Staunton said:

This last aspect is a crucial point to bear in mind as the Finland basic income experiment is likely to generate some significant negative press over the coming weeks, and debate is certain to focus on precisely that spurious aspect.

 

But the experiment did make people happier. Surely, as one of the wealthiest countries that means the experiment worked?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Staunton said:

The Basic Income model is one of universality. It is awarded to every citizen, rich or poor, in or out of work and without condition. The Finland experiment has skewed these basic aspects .

That wasn't obvious from your opinion though. What was the 'spurious' thing you meant when talking about looking for work?

Is the sum paid meant to be enough to live on, then any salary earned is a top up?

So if it was in the UK everyone over 18 would get say £10k per year? So if you did nothing you'd get £10k and if you were on £40k salary, you'd end up with £50k? How does it affect tax for the employed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The basic income model is one without  condition, i.e. not linked in any way to employment or other consideration. The Finland experiment would imply an annual basic income of around £6,000 per citizen in UK terms. This award would be tax free.

 

For a  useful overview of the theme of basic income see:

 

Guy Standing, Basic Income: and how we can make it happen, Pelican (2017).

Edited by Staunton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Staunton said:

The Basic Income model is one of universality. It is awarded to every citizen, rich or poor, in or out of work and without condition. The Finland experiment has skewed these basic aspects .

Yes, and as Woodview pointed out and you confirmed, that wasn't the case in Finland.

 

I am a massive proponent of the Universal Basic Income. I think everybody should get* a tax-free 10k (appr.) a year, with a flat-tax on any income over that. It will make people more independent and able to make better decisions whilst reducing their dependency on salaried employment.

 

*Currently our tax free base is an entitlement, you still need income to get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, tzijlstra said:

 

I am a massive proponent of the Universal Basic Income. I think everybody should get* a tax-free 10k (appr.) a year, with a flat-tax on any income over that. 

 

Where do you propose planting/harvesting the ‘money trees’ ?

 

Edited by Mossway
Script

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Mossway said:

 

tzijlstra's proposal might well rely on magic as it conflates the reasonable proposal of a universal basic income with the neoliberal dream of a flat tax, which let's the rich off the hook.

 

There are a great many variables to consider in the debate over the idea of a basic universal income. Not least among these is its potential to alleviate the social and economic tensions as working practices come under stress in the wake of the technical revolution. This dynamic is set to generate enormous wealth for those well placed enterprises and individuals while many will face redundancy and hardship. A robust tax system will be an essential component of polity if further inequality and unrest is to be avoided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, Mossway said:

Where do you propose planting/harvesting the ‘money trees’ ? 

55 minutes ago, Staunton said:

tzijlstra's proposal might well rely on magic as it conflates the reasonable proposal of a universal basic income with the neoliberal dream of a flat tax, which let's the rich off the hook.

 

There are a great many variables to consider in the debate over the idea of a basic universal income. Not least among these is its potential to alleviate the social and economic tensions as working practices come under stress in the wake of the technical revolution. This dynamic is set to generate enormous wealth for those well placed enterprises and individuals while many will face redundancy and hardship. A robust tax system will be an essential component of polity if further inequality and unrest is to be avoided.

Mossway - no need for money trees, just a rebalancing of personal taxation. Most people in the UK already are entitled to a significant amount of 'benefits' that are construed in many meaningless manners. Just simplifying all that and giving every citizen over a certain age a basic income will likely work out cost-equitable.

 

Re. flat tax and 'letting the rich of the hook' - it isn't neo-liberal, it is market liberal. If you are prepared to work your value on the employment market should be recognised. A flat-tax of 30% on any income over 10K means that if you work stacking shelves at Tesco for 18k a year, you come home with £22,600 instead of 18k, at the same time you've paid £5,400 towards universal income.

 

If you work for Microsoft and make 150k a year, you come home with 115k a year and have paid 45k towards universal income, enabling another 4,5 people to receive it.

 

Regardless, taxation is a highly contentious topic and I'll happily admit some see it differently. That doesn't mean I should follow the crowd, or indeed not provide arguments as to why I feel my proposal would be fairer. What I will add is this - we are heading towards a future where salaried work becomes unsustainable, automation will scrap thousands of traditional jobs and it will become increasingly important to have a strong debate on how we respond to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.