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Fri, 16 Dec, 2016 10:47:14 PM
Research group submits final report
FTimes Report, Dec 16

The research group working on the basic income experiment proposed its implementation in multiple stages, said an official press release.

The research group submitted its final report to the Minister of Social and Affairs and Health, Pirkko Mattila on Friday where it said that 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, said the report.

In its final report, the group no longer proposes a method of implementing the basic income experiment due to begin in January 2017, since an 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 an 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.

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.

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.


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