Finnish authorities have today released the final report analysing Finland’s 2018 universal basic income experiment.
The results show that those in receipt of the basic income payments experienced lower unemployment, lower stress and anxiety, and greater wellbeing than a control group who were not in receipt of UBI payments.
According to Kela, the Finnish Department of Social Security, “The basic income recipients trusted other people and the institutions in society to a larger extent and were more confident in their own future and their ability to influence things than the control group. This may be due to the basic income being unconditional, which in previous studies has been seen to increase people’s trust in the system.”
The news that UBI recipients experienced a reduction in unemployment is of particular interest, considering critics’ primary objection that universal income payments would lead to laziness.
Kela went on to say that “for some the experiment offered new opportunities of participating in society for instance through voluntary work or informal care.”
Importantly for liberals, the Finnish department said that “many interviewees said that the basic income strengthened the feeling of autonomy.”
The positive results from Finland will increase pressure on governments across the world to introduce a universal basic income or equivalent in their countries, and in Britain, will be a feather in the cap of figures like Liberal Democrat interim acting co-leader Ed Davey and leadership contender Layla Moran, who are at the forefront of the movement to introduce UBI both as a pandemic response measure, and in the longer term.