Will Finland Give €800 Tax-Free To Every Citizen?


Finland is planning to introduce a national basic income in 2016.

The Finnish Social Insurance Institution (KELA) is working to finalize a proposal, under which every single person in the country would get €800 tax-free every month.

The basic income program is intended at finding ways to reshape the social security system in response to changes in the labor market.

In exchange, Finland would stop all other benefit programs and payments, and instead pay €800 per month. The plan has received a support from the public. A survey, conducted by KELA during September-October period, revealed that nearly 70% of the people were in a favor of a universal basic income. Many people believe that €1,000 per month is a suitable amount for a basic income.

The unemployment rate in Finland hit the record level, and this basic income would allow people to find work. Currently, more than 10% of Finland’s workforce is without job, according to the reports. Currently, Finnish people receive welfare benefits according to their incomes.

The final proposal is due in November next year. If fully implemented, the basic income program would cost Finland €52 billion per year. If Finland pay €800 only to adults, the program would cost €46.7 billion per year.

The national basic income is also supported by Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, who says that: “For me, a basic income means simplifying the social security system.” Nearly all major political parties are in a favor of the idea to simplify the country’s social security system.

The universal basic income experiment is expected to be launched in 2017, KELA said. The program would help the government save millions, according to Liisa Hyssälä, director general of KELA.

“The experiment will also explore how to make the system more empowering and more effective in terms of providing incentives for work. Further objectives include the reduction of bureaucracy and the streamlining the complicated system for providing welfare benefits,” KELA said in a statement.