Sun, Jan 22, 2017 | updated 09:05 AM IST

Finland to guarantee income to 2,000 of its citizens

Updated: Jan 03, 2017 12:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 3 (ANI): Finland has become the first country in Europe to initiate a radical experiment under which it will give 2,000 citizens a guaranteed income with funds that keep flowing even if they are unemployed.

The idea behind this programme is to ensure a universal income offering greater security, especially as technological advances reduce the need for human labour. It will also allow the unemployed people to pick up odd jobs without losing their benefits.

The programme, which kicks off this month, is one of the first efforts to test a "universal basic income."

Each participant will receive USD 587 per month for a period of two years. The participants will be randomly selected.

If this programme is successful then it could be expanded to include all adult Finns.

The government thinks the initiative could save money in the long run. The country's welfare system is complex and expensive to run, and simplifying it could reduce costly bureaucracy, reports CNN Money.

Also, it has a firm belief that the change could also encourage more jobless people to look for work because they won't have to worry about losing unemployment benefits.

Some unemployed workers currently avoid part time jobs because even a small income boost could result in their unemployment benefits being cancelled.

The scheme is part of the measures by the centre-right government of Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila to tackle unemployment, which stands at 8.1 percent in a nation of 5.5 million. (ANI)