Let's All Move To Finland: Country To Give Each Citizen €800 A Month
The Debrief: The country's looking to scrap benefits altogether and give each citizen a tax free monthly wage
Need yet another reason to move yourself over to Scandinavia? And by ‘other’ I mean other than the excellent music, food, free higher education, generally high levels of happiness, great design, inexplicably sexy but emotionally damaged detectives... They’ve got it all.
Well, here's another reason just in case; Finland want to give each of it’s citizens €800 (£574) a month. Tax free. In turn, they are going to scrap benefits altogether.
According to Quartz, 69% of Finns are in favour of the idea, for which plans are currently being drawn up. ‘For me, a basic income means simplifying the social security system.’ Juha Sipilä, the country's Prime Minister said of the plans.
Finland’s unemployment rate is currently at at 15 year high – 9.53% as compared to Britain’s 5.4% and, the thinking behind the move is that Finns will be able to get back to work and take low paying jobs without worrying about how little money they're making rather than holding out for more fruitful jobs that perhaps might not exist.
They’re not the first country to think of this plan. In the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht is trialling giving it’s citizens a basic income – ranging from €900-€1,300. It’s a gradual roll out so no word yet on whether it's had any impact although Tilburg (another city in The Netherlands) has joined in, and several others are considering it. Around the wider world, the idea of a basic income has been trialled in Uganda with hugely positive results.
So, what's the downside? Well, for starters it'll cost a hell of a lot of money. €52.2 billion a year to be exact. Roughly what a country like South Korea currently spends on it's military every year. Secondly – there’s also the worry that some people – those who have disability benefits for instance, might be worse off.
Either way, for a large percent of the population, an extra €800 a month probably sounds pretty damn good. The move is set to be voted on in November 2016, so if it’s successful, you might want to start practising your Finnish. Eläköön Suomi!
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