News; News & Events

Finland: launch of a basic income citizens' initiative

Finland’s basic income network has just launched a campaign for a citizens’ initiative for a universal basic income on March 28th, 2012, in Helsinki. The Citizens’ Initiative Act came into force in Finland at the beginning of March 2012, but since appropriate online service for collecting signatures is still missing, only preliminary supporters are being gathered. Citizens’ initiatives can be sent for parliamentary handling if they are signed by 50,000 people. The citizens’ initiative claims for a basic income which corresponds to the minimum level of current basic social security benefits, to be granted on an individual basis to all adult permanent residents in Finland. The initiative was drafted by a working group of people from different political parties and NGO’s. Due to this initiative and other campaigns, basic income has recently become a hot topic in the Finnish media and political activism.

Basic income network Finland: http://perustulo.org/

A newspaper article (in English) on this initiative:

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Lack+of+appropriate+online+services+waters+down+new+Citizens%E2%80%99+Initiative+Act+/1329103710144

About Yannick Vanderborght

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4 comments

  • A great initiative, which could and should be started by the basic income network in every european country.

  • Edward S

    I see two positive points in this proposal:
    1. the basic income will correspond to the minimum level of current basic social security benefits.
    This seems a good idea because it doesn’t set a separate figure for the basic income. Also, taking the basic social security benefit as the basic income should help efface the stigma attached to receiving social security. That it will be distributed to all should also help alleviate the resentment felt by some low-wage earners against welfare recipients. (In my opinion, a basic income should be introduced alongside a statutory minimum wage, where such legislation does not exist. Also, industry-wide collective bargaining should be promoted, as is already the case in Finland.)
    2. The basic income is to be called a “universal” basic income and not a “citizens'” income. The latter name can be interpreted as restricting the income to a country’s nationals, while excluding all foreigners. Instead, the Finnish proposal is to benefit “all adult permanent residents in Finland”. A question I would have is whether adults with children should receive more? Or should that be covered by a separate family allowance?

    • Johanna Perkiö

      Thank you for the positive feedback! To your question: in Finland we do have already a universal child-allowance, a kind of basic income for children (or their parents). For pensioners too we have nowadays a quaranteed minimum pension.

  • Jenny Poulsen

    The online service for collecting signatures is now up and running. As of today, there are 18 292 signatures, of which 16 892 are online signatures.

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