Finland: Governmental announcement for the basic income experiment: the Pirates’ response
As we’ve already reported here, Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health announced their plan for the basic income experiment, and requested citizens’ opinions on it, on 25th August. We’ve also reported Finnish experts’ responses here, and the Greens’ response here. This article reports the response by the Pirate Party of Finland (Piraattipuolue).
The Pirate Party of Finland endorses an unconditional basic income. On the day the Finnish government announced their detailed plan, UBI advocates from the Pirates Parties of Finland, Iceland and Sweden gathered in Turku for a seminar on UBI.
Tapani Karvinen, the former chair of the party, responded to BIEN on the government’s plan:
Largest problem is that [the] experiment is going to analyze the employment of the target group, not other factors, such as health, participation in unpaid communal work, arts or self-development by studying or hobbies. Target group of 2000 people is inadequate, as the preliminary study suggested 2000 + 8000 whose basic income costs would have been covered from the Finnish Social Insurance Institute’s unemployment fund, therefore creating no extra costs for the study. Excluding students and state pensioners means that there will be no information if basic income will encourage creation of innovations, entrepreneurship and employment of graduates, or mental and physical health of elders.
In short, [the] study’s target group is not wide enough and is not analyzing all the crucial factors, which affect the well-being of individuals and therefore also economy and costs of state. A further study is necessary to complete the analysis of the effects which basic income would have to Finland as a whole.
Petrus Pennanen, the deputy chair of the party, also told BIEN about his views of the plan:
It just replaces the application based minimum unemployment / welfare benefit with a fixed payment, but doesn’t change the tax system in anyway. In a realistic UBI experiment small income would be taxed more than now. Not sure what is the point of the experiment, on one hand it’s certainly better something is being done instead of nothing, but I don’t think there’s much practical benefit from this kind of experiment. One could think it’s like a stalling tactic, waiting 2 years for this instead of actually implementing a sensible reform of our welfare systems.
The full interviews with Tapani Karvinen and with Petrus Pennanen will be published here at Basic Income News shortly.
Tapani Karvinen on the right, Petrus Pennanen on the left. Photo is taken from a video provided from The Pirate Party of Finland.
Reviewed by Kate McFarland.