HELSINKI, FINLAND: Workshop on Basic Income experiments (Nov 8)

As previously announced on Basic Income News (and elsewhere), the governments of Finland and the Netherlands are both preparing to experimentally test a basic income, with trials beginning as early as January 2017.

On November 8, Kela, the Social Insurance Institute of Finland, will be holding a workshop on both countries’ upcoming experiments, fittingly titled “Experimenting with Basic Income: Finland and the Netherlands”. The workshop is open to the public and will be streamed live.

The goals of the event, which brings together leading researchers on both projects, are to “explore both similarities and differences between the proposed schemes, to examine the role of basic income experiments in each country, and to analyse the political and policy processes associated with piloting basic income in advanced welfare states”.

Kela researcher Olli Kangas will introduce the event, and Jurgen De Wispelaere, of the University of Tampere, will deliver opening and closing lectures that compare and contextualize the two experiments (“Putting Basic Income Experiments in Context” and “Comparing Basic Income Experiments: Lessons and Challenges”).

Additionally, three panels will be held concerning details of the respective experiments:

1. “Experimenting with Basic Income in the Netherlands: General Considerations” featuring panelists Sjir Hoeijmakers (independent scholar) and Loek Groot (University of Utrecht), moderated by Paula Laine (Sitra).

2. “Experimental design and implementation: Utrecht, Wageningen and Tilburg” featuring panelists Timo Verlaat (University of Utrecht), Ernst-Jan de Bruijn (University of Wageningen), and Ruud Muffels (University of Tilburg), moderated by Laine.

3. “The Finnish Basic Income Experiments” featuring panelists Johanna Perkiö (University of Tampere), Olli Kangas, and Kathrin Komp (University of Helsinki), moderated by Pertti Koistinen (University of Tampere).

“Experimenting with Basic Income” takes place as part of the research program Tackling Inequalities in Time of Austerity (TITA), funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. (See TITA’s research plan for more information about its activities.)

Join in-person or on-line:

To attend, register by November 4 here: https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/workshop20161108.

The event will be streamed lived and recorded. Information will be available at this link: http://www.kela.fi/experimenting-with-basic-income-finland-and-netherlands.


Reviewed by Robert Gordon.

Photo: “Helsinki y la catedral” CC BY-NC 2.0 Mariano Mantel.

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 410 articles.

Kate has previously worked as a professional student, but is currently taking a mid-career retirement.

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One comment

  • Steve Godenich

    Universal Basic Income appears to be focusing on a globalist political agenda. It offers freebies for all rather than being focused on an economically sound nation-based poverty elimination program. For the USA, the poor economic model becomes evident when you start crunching the numbers and consider the 75,000 pages of US tax code. It’s then that you can see the terrible tax burden that would be laid upon working citizens, especially for the poor if financed with an indirect consumption tax. Worse still, since UBI is currently defined as a permanent stipend that does not taper, employers are encouraged to reduce wages across the board by that same amount. The current UBI ideology reminds me of a book I read in grammar school[1].

    If people are concerned about improving the social safety net, consider an individualized poverty-level NIT (tapering minimum income) for resident adult citizens of a nation. Combine that with medical goods & services, public schools and residential education facilities[2] for orphans and voluntarily available to single parents for their children. Unfortunately, this form of poverty relief is not currently recognized as Universal Basic Income and that is a pity because it is a disconcerting telltale sign of a misguided political agenda.

    As for any additional taxes needed, a tiny indirect flat tax[3] on all economic transactions[4] is preferable to replace direct income taxes and consumer consumption taxes, where the proceeds are divvied out to the states, provinces or cantons rather than directly to the national government. This type of tax eliminates the marginal tax rate concern for a tapering income and this type of tax distribution makes politicians more directly accountable to their taxpaying voter constituents. For the US, the current $1.2 trillion state and federal welfare funding[5,6] appears to be roughly sufficient to cover the costs without raising taxes. There would be no need for significantly increasing taxes to double the welfare budget as is the case for Reed and Lansley[7] in the UK.

    [1] Animal Farm Audio book | Youtube
    [2] Residential Education: An Emerging Resource for Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care? | Lee, Barth | 2009
    [3] APT Tax Youtube
    [4] Intraday Liquidity Flows | FRBNY | 2012
    [5] CRS Report: Welfare Spending The Largest Item In The Federal Budget | Sessions | 2012
    [6] 2015 ACTUARIAL REPORT ON THE FINANCIAL OUTLOOK FOR MEDICAID | HHS
    [7] How to make a Universal Basic Income a reality | Reed, Lansley | 2016

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