Research group recommends expansion of basic income experiment

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Social Affairs and Health
16.12.2016 13.32 | Published in English on 16.12.2016 at 14.19
Press release 556/2016

The research group working on the basic income experiment proposes its implementation in multiple stages. According to the group, this would be the most reliable way of learning more about the basic income. It would also enable the further development of study designs and provide the information needed to revamp the Finnish social security system to meet future needs.

The research group reviewing the basic income experiment submitted its final report to Pirkko Mattila, Minister of Social and Affairs and Health, on 16 December 2016. In its final report, the group no longer proposes a method of implementing the basic income experiment due to begin in January 2017, since a experiment design has already been prepared. In a preliminary report issued in March 2016, the research group reviewed various basic income models and experiment designs, and anticipated their costs and effects. In its final report, the group focuses on the presentation of various options for further research.

The final design of a experiment is always the result of compromise. The current legislation is very restrictive with respect to experiments intended to have a material impact on people’s lives. The budget for the experiment is just as crucial as legislative changes. Sufficient funds should be set aside for continuous experiments. The research group proposes a series of experiments which would involve testing a range of basic income and tax models on an expanded test group.

Aiming to make social security more motivational

The objective of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government is to foster a culture of experimentation. The basic income experiment is one of the Government’s six experiments. The purpose of the experiment is to explore whether it might lead to the overall reform of the social security system and, in particular, liberate people from the welfare trap.

Although the basic income experiment is a major step in itself, the research group hopes to see a series of other field experiments, on issues of social importance, performed at the same time. This would enable a social reform based on stronger, fact-based evidence.

Final report (in Finnish)

Background

The report on options for the basic income experiment was prepared by a consortium comprising the Social Insurance Institution of Finland Kela, VATT Institute for Economic Research, the universities of Helsinki, Tampere, Eastern Finland and Turku, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the think tank Tänk, and Finnish entrepreneurs, with the help of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. The project formed part of the implementation of the Government's analysis and research plan for 2015.

For further information on the Government's analysis and research activities, see tietokayttoon.fi

For additional information, please contact:

Professor Olli Kangas, Director of Community Relations, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), tel. +358 400 261158, [email protected],

Timo A. Tanninen, Ministerial Counsellor of Finance, tel. +358 295 163 572, [email protected]

Liisa Siika-aho, Director, tel. +358 295 163 085, [email protected]

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