Finland is preparing to implement a guaranteed minimum income
Kela, the Social Insurance Institution in Finland has begun work on a proposal that would ensure a national minimum income for all Finnish citizens.
If implemented, the new programme would offer people a tax-free income of 800 Euros a month, replacing thus the current social benefits system in Finland. Any income exceeding this amount would become eligible for taxation.
The proposal recommended by Kale includes a trial period during which people will be offered a 550 Euros monthly income in addition to any other benefits they might be receiving such as housing benefit or unemployment benefit.
Because of the unemployment rate which has been increasing lately in Finland, people have become more and more keen on testing new methods and solutions. In April 2015, the Centre Party, which supports the minimum income proposal, won by majority in the parliamentary elections with 21% of votes. The other two major parties on board with this proposal, the Green League and the Left Wing received 8% and 7% of all votes and last but not least, even the True Finns party which received 17.6% of votes is backing the proposal.
By the November 2016, Kela wishes to put forward the full proposal to the Government who will likely implement a trial run of the programme nationally.
But Finland is not the only country considering such a change: the Dutch city Utrecht has already rolled out a similar programme. The purpose of the national minimum income is to lift the burden off people in low paid jobs who struggle the most to earn their living. By giving them the security of a guaranteed income, they can focus their attention on developing new skills in other domains such as creative, entrepreneurship or charity which would in turn enable them to support their families better and contribute to the society.
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