Finland to give everyone €800 a month

Techno Natch

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This is an interesting proposal. They plan to give every citizen €800 per month and to scrap benefits altogether.

Initial reaction by some might be that it will give people less reason to work but it will still only be €200 a week. What's the cost of living like there and I'm not to sure what people on benefits get already so it might not be a huge difference.

I guess you'd get rid of some costs of monitoring the welfare system. Extra money in peoples pockets is going to be a general boost to happiness too.

Thoughts?


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...uros-a-month-and-scrap-benefits-a6762226.html
 

SUTSS

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They are doing the same in a Dutch city as well, think it's Utrecht. It's certainly an interesting idea and it seems to be an idea that is gaining traction in quite a lot of Europe.
 
A

Alty

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I like it. Entitlements based on citizenship. It destigmatises those needing state assistance, thus avoiding the absurd levels of coverage of "scroungers".
 

Cheese & Biscuits

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I'm not sure how simple a solution is should dictate if it should be implemented. Sure it'll cut down on costs but giving a person €800 whether they're a millionaire, a middle-manager or a single parent seems inherently unfair.

It's an interesting concept but I'm not sure I agree with it.
 

silkyman

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If everyone gets it, then it's as fair as fair can be, surely. You'd like to think that someone would set up a scheme for people to make charitable donations with it or something.
 

Dave-Vale

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Universal basic income is an excellent idea.

Whenever I discuss this with anybody their opinions are always that it would stop people going to work etc. It wouldn't. There obviously would be some who would but it's hardly like there's a shortage of people to fill the jobs.
 

johnnytodd

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does everyone get it or just those out of work?
 

Art Morte

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As someone from Finland, I prefer this idea to our current system that consists of several different benefits that you can apply for depending on for which one you qualify.

But I should stress here that this "basic income plan" isn't yet decided upon, it's something that's being considered, but there hasn't been a vote on it in the parliament yet (afaik anyway).

We have a pretty good welfare system, but it really is complex and the amounts you may receive can vary quite a bit, depending on the benefit and your income vs expenses calculations that the social workers do. It's basically a lot of work and something simpler replacing it does make common sense, whether it makes economical sense, I haven't a clue.

There was also a research done earlier this year, that every year worth about €300m in benefits go unclaimed, even though there are people who would qualify for them. Apparently some people - especially in small towns - don't apply for benefits, because they feel it's humiliating and don't want to risk people finding out that they're on benefits. And that the elderly don't necessarily know how to get all the paperwork done - or are not even aware that they could apply for benefits to pay for their medication. One basic income that's paid to you automatically would also eradicate these inequalities of the current system.
 
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Alty

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I'm not sure how simple a solution is should dictate if it should be implemented. Sure it'll cut down on costs but giving a person €800 whether they're a millionaire, a middle-manager or a single parent seems inherently unfair.

It's an interesting concept but I'm not sure I agree with it.
It all comes down to whether you think state assistance should be provided on the basis of citizenship and solidarity, or according to perceived need after means testing. I much prefer the former for the reasons Art Morte sets out.

Think about it - children of multimillionaires are still entitled to free healthcare and free education despite the fact their parents can easily afford to pay. I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all.
 

Cheese & Biscuits

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It all comes down to whether you think state assistance should be provided on the basis of citizenship and solidarity, or according to perceived need after means testing. I much prefer the former for the reasons Art Morte sets out.

Think about it - children of multimillionaires are still entitled to free healthcare and free education despite the fact their parents can easily afford to pay. I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all.
Personally, I think most benefits should be on a means tested basis. To give everyone the same may be cheap but it's a flawed system where money that could do good is being given to people who don't need it. I accept that means testing is hard and costly but I'm not sure that should be an insurmountable barrier.

The benefits you highlight (child health care, education etc) I would agree that this should be a free for all. All children should have access to the same. I have no issues with that. To give adult millionaires money for housing benefit, income support etc is fundamentally wrong for me when that money could do much more by giving it someone who needs it.
 

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Why is it that Scandanavian countries seem to have a lot of socialist ideals? And yes, Finland, the rest of the world classes you as a Scandanavian whether you want to be or not.
 
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Alty

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Why is it that Scandanavian countries seem to have a lot of socialist ideals? And yes, Finland, the rest of the world classes you as a Scandanavian whether you want to be or not.
Nordic but not Scandinavian. That way everyone is happy.
 

AFCB_Mark

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It's a very interesting idea. A universal payment regardless of need does immediately cut through many of the stigmas, rhetoric and resentment of a welfare system, and it wouldn't be hard to create schemes that allow better off individuals to redirect their entitlement should they wish.

Coming at it from I suspect a different angle than some, I've long thought It's something that many governments of the world will need to look at as and when in decades to come the advancement in AI and automation changes economies and employment (in whatever way it changes, we can only speculate currently).
 

Tilbury

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This would be fantastic. Costs a hell of a lot but the amount it will improve society, especially those lower on the economical scale, would really be monumental. No unemployment, people are have more free time which in turn produces a happier population, really would be fantastic. And something like this will have to happen in the future at some point when the robots take over.
 

sl1k

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There was a comment I read on Techno Natch's link that claimed it would actually reduce the welfare bill by scrapping the costly implementation of means-tested benefits.

If this is true, then it seems a far superior system. As others have mentioned. it alleviates the poor of the stigmas attached to benefits, makes it more accessible to the elderly and vulnerable, reduces bureaucracy and - though not confirmed - saves dough in the process.

Sure ideally you'd want to distribute it only to those who need it, but as long as those people have their safety net the benefits (pun intended) far outweigh everything else imo.
 

mowgli

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Christ is somebody mentions this to Iain Duncan-Smith he'd have a massive heart attack.
 

Veggie Legs

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I think this is a great idea. I've been looking at the figures to see what it would be like to implement in the UK and it's actually not as expensive as I thought it would be. If we gave every adult in the UK £500 a month then it would cost about £300bn per year. However, we currently spend about £170bn on benefits, and the new system would be much simpler to administer so there are probably big savings that could be made in the DWP. Obviously that would still be a big increase in welfare spending, but I think it would be worth it.
 

Art Morte

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The spending power boost that those already with low-to-middle income would get from a scheme like this would be pretty substantial to the economy. It's really hard to make small enterprises succeed in these times when everything gets concentrated to big shopping centers, but if ordinary people got an extra €800 to spend in a month, I'd like to think they'd be more willing to pay that little bit extra to local shops for that extra bit of quality, service or just the fact it's local.

Then again, if I've got a bit of extra cash, I'll just buy a more expensive bottle of whisky, so I don't know can people be trusted with more money, really.
 

smat

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What if 800 Euros isn't enough tho?
 

Art Morte

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What if 800 Euros isn't enough tho?

I'd say it's just about enough to get the basics over here. Although as far as rent goes, there are big differences between our big cities and the smaller towns. I guess that happens everywhere.

However, I haven't read anything would there be any other benefits, like child care. In the current system you get money per child and I'd expect that logic to carry over to the new system, if it happens.
 

smat

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Then it's better than no Finn.
:db:

I'd say it's just about enough to get the basics over here. Although as far as rent goes, there are big differences between our big cities and the smaller towns. I guess that happens everywhere.

However, I haven't read anything would there be any other benefits, like child care. In the current system you get money per child and I'd expect that logic to carry over to the new system, if it happens.
Okay so there wouldn't be any shortfalls? And does it cover disability as well? Because some forms of need are more expensive than others. (Not arguing btw, just curious about how it'd work).
 

Art Morte

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Why is it that Scandanavian countries seem to have a lot of socialist ideals? And yes, Finland, the rest of the world classes you as a Scandanavian whether you want to be or not.
I'm a Finn and I class ourselves as Scandinavian, although technically we're not : )
It just feels too much trouble dividing between Scandinavia and the Nordic Countries.

Secondly, I don't know about the socialist ideas. If I remember right, we haven't had a "socialist" or left-wing government since the turn of the millenium. In our latest general election in spring 2015, the "central party" won, our version of the UKIP came second and the moderately right-wing, pro-capitalism party third. I'd say that we simply have some themes that may seem socialist, but there's a high level of agreement across the parties that those policies simply match our values, that they lay the ground rule to everything else.

At the end of the day moving from our current welfare system to the proposed basic income model isn't a change in our view of thinking, our welfare system is already pretty extensive (like, free basic health care, free education at all levels, state support social benefits), this is more about finding a simpler, more equal and hopefully overall better model.
 

Art Morte

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Okay so there wouldn't be any shortfalls? And does it cover disability as well? Because some forms of need are more expensive than others. (Not arguing btw, just curious about how it'd work).

Tbh I don't know the details, I only know that moving to a basic income model was a biggish theme in the last election and it's in the works to be voted on in the parliament. But I would expect some of the current model's logic to carry over, like child benefits or health care benefits. We'll see.
 
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Greens had something like this in their manifesto for the last election.

I genuinely wonder what effect it will have on the economy.
 

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