Finland proposes copying UK’s controversial benefit approach Finland proposes copying UK’s controversial benefit approach

Finland proposes copying UK’s controversial benefit approach
09 Apr 2018

A task force set up by the Finnish government has proposed consolidating all state benefits into a single payment.

Under the plan, social assistance, basic unemployment allowance, labour market subsidy, sickness, parental and housing allowances would be consolidated into a basic social security payment.

According to UUtisetthe base sum would be €697 (US$860) a month for registered job seekers that meet the relevant criteria but would fall as the recipient’s earnings increase, although never to the extent that working becomes not worthwhile.

Following the publication of the report, the country's finance minister, Petteri Orpo, called for a trial of a system based on the UK's Universal Credit (UC), The Helsinki Times said. This controversial benefit, which replaces six separate means-tested payments, has been rolling out gradually across the UK, despite widespread criticism

Orpo cited a recent report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which indicated UC would be more sensible than a universal basic income, which is already being piloted in the country. He suggested that a trial could begin at the end of this year.

National Coalition Party MP Juhana Vartiainen said that the parliamentary parties were starting to reach “a consensus of sorts” on consolidating state benefits into one payment.

"The Christian Democrats share this kind of thinking and the Social Democrats would prefer to go this route rather than in the direction of a gratuitous basic income," he said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

A task force set up by the Finnish government has proposed consolidating all state benefits into a single payment.

Under the plan, social assistance, basic unemployment allowance, labour market subsidy, sickness, parental and housing allowances would be consolidated into a basic social security payment.

According to UUtisetthe base sum would be €697 (US$860) a month for registered job seekers that meet the relevant criteria but would fall as the recipient’s earnings increase, although never to the extent that working becomes not worthwhile.

Following the publication of the report, the country's finance minister, Petteri Orpo, called for a trial of a system based on the UK's Universal Credit (UC), The Helsinki Times said. This controversial benefit, which replaces six separate means-tested payments, has been rolling out gradually across the UK, despite widespread criticism

Orpo cited a recent report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which indicated UC would be more sensible than a universal basic income, which is already being piloted in the country. He suggested that a trial could begin at the end of this year.

National Coalition Party MP Juhana Vartiainen said that the parliamentary parties were starting to reach “a consensus of sorts” on consolidating state benefits into one payment.

"The Christian Democrats share this kind of thinking and the Social Democrats would prefer to go this route rather than in the direction of a gratuitous basic income," he said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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