Finland’s ending its ‘free money’ trial

Finland was running Europe's first government-backed trial of giving people free cash, or a 'basic income'. After two years it's come to an end.

What it means: For the past two years, the Finnish government has given a small sample of 2000 unemployed people aged 25 to 58 a monthly payment of €560 (£470). The hope was the trial would reduce anxiety among unemployed people, but would also help simplify a welfare system which is struggling to keep up with how quickly Finland's job market is changing.

But the government's pulled the plug. It doesn't want to give the social security agency running the trial any more money, which means it won't be able to expand the scheme. The government wants to trial different welfare schemes, including a new 'universal credit' scheme, like the UK's, which simplifies different benefits into one payment.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the trial should have failed. In Finland, the people behind the trial are disappointed. They wanted to roll the scheme out further and say the two years they've been given isn't enough to reach any real conclusions. And for a lot of Universal Basic Income's  (you can read more about that here) biggest fans, for the idea to really work it has to be given to everyone, not just unemployed people.

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