Finland wants to give all citizens, rich or poor, a monthly payment

Finland wants to give all citizens, rich or poor, a monthly payment
Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva/Reuters

As it struggles with unabated unemployment and zero economic growth, Finland wants to try replacing its bureaucratic welfare system with a much more simple one: a monthly payment of €800, or $870, to every citizen, with no strings attached.

The Finnish government says it wants to launch a “universal basic income experiment” in 2017 to test the feasibility of this program, which would replace the country’s current benefits system.

The Nordic country is grappling with a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, an aging population, and little hope for significant growth in the near future, said the country’s ministry of finance in a gloomy economic report this fall.

“The Finnish economy is in an extremely difficult situation,” wrote the ministry.

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