Europe's first national experiment to give citizens free cash will be scrapped next year, after Finland decided to discontinue its pioneering basic income trial.
The Finnish Social Insurance Institute, often referred to as Kela, introduced a two-year trial of Universal Basic Income (UBI) in January 2017. The scheme saw its government pay a random sample of 2,000 unemployed citizens aged 25 to 58 a monthly payment of 560 euros ($684).
Kela's trial did not require the recipients of basic income to seek or accept employment, while those who took a job during this period would still continue to receive the same amount of cash.
However, Kela's request for extra funding to expand the two-year pilot to a group of employees this year was rejected by the government on Monday. Instead, the Finnish administration said it would prioritize other schemes in an effort to reform the Scandinavian country's social security system.
"The government is making changes taking the system away from basic income," Kela's Miska Simanainen told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.