The Finnish Social Insurance Institute, also known as Kela, has prematurely ended its two year Universal Basic Income trial after extra fundings were cut by the Finnish government.
The program was introduced in January 2018, and allocated a monthly income of €560 (£490) to 2,000 unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58 from around the country. The plan was seen as an alternative to providing unemployment benefits to people out of work. The supporters of the program claimed that it would help tackle poverty and inequality by encouraging unemployed people to find work.
However, the extension of the basic income program has now been canceled after the Finnish government rejected Kela’s request for extra funds for the expansion of the project. This will see the project end after its trial period ends in January of next year.
This basic income trial was seen by many as a trial for a solution to the rising wealth gap and loss of work to automation. It was supported by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk.
Speaking to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Kela researcher Miska Simanainen claimed that the scrapping of the program will “take the system further away from a basic income“.
“Two years is too short a period to be able to draw extensive conclusions from such a big experiment, We should have had extra time and more money to achieve reliable results.”
Featured Image Credits: Hteink Min