Dom Galeon in Science Alert:
It looks like 2,000 citizens in Finland will welcome the new year with outstretched arms.
These Finns are the lucky recipients of a guaranteed income beginning this year, as the country’s government finally rolls out its universal basic income (UBI) trial run.
UBI is a potential source of income that could one day be available to all adult citizens, regardless of income, wealth, or employment status.
This pioneering UBI program was launched by the federal social security institution, Kela. It will give out €560 (US$587) a month, tax free, to 2,000 Finns that were randomly selected.
The only requirement was that they had to be already receiving unemployment benefits or an income subsidy.
The program allows unemployed Finns to not lose their benefits, even when they try out odd jobs.
"Incidental earnings do not reduce the basic income, so working and … self-employment are worthwhile no matter what," says Marjukka Turunen, legal unit head at Kela.
If successful, the program could be extended to include all adult Finns.