“I feel much more secure now that short-term jobs no longer reduce my benefits or delay their payment.”
In the Finnish experiment, the basic income is below what unemployment benefits pay, which is 32.40 euros a day, or almost 1,000 euros a month – subject to income tax of about 30 percent. The basic income is tax free, but barely enough to live on for someone paying rent, so it keeps pressure on the recipients to join the work force.
Minna Ylikanno, a researcher with Kela, said the basic income recipients appeared less stressed, healthier and more confident in the future than a 5,000-member control group of unemployment benefits recipients.
The report found that those on basic income and the unemployed people in the control group ended up working roughly the same number of days.
“The basic income may have a positive effect on the wellbeing of the recipient even though it does not in the short term improve the person’s employment prospects,” Ms Ylikanno added.
The participants in both the trial and the control group were selected randomly among those who received unemployment benefits from Kela in November 2016 , Ms Ylikanno told The Associated Press.
The Nordic country’s official unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in 2018.