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TOPIC: Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true?

Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 13 Jan 2018 10:31 #5672

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Europe’s first national experiment in giving citizens free cash has attracted huge media attention. But one year in, what does this project really hope to prove?

Jon Henley in Helsinki
Fri 12 Jan 2018

One year on from its launch, the world remains fascinated by Finland’s groundbreaking universal basic income trial: Europe’s first national, government-backed experiment in giving citizens free cash.

In January 2017, the Nordic nation began paying a random but mandatory sample of 2,000 unemployed people aged 25 to 58 a monthly €560 (£475). There is no obligation either to seek or accept employment during the two years the trial lasts, and any who do take a job will continue to receive the same amount.

With the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bernie Sanders all proponents of a universal basic income (UBI) model, Finnish officials and participants have been inundated with media requests from around the globe. One participant who hoped to start his own business with the help of the unconditional monthly payment complained that, after speaking to 140 TV crews and reporters from as far afield as Japan and Korea, he has simply not been able to find the time.

Read More Here;
www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/12/money-for-nothing-is-finlands-universal-basic-income-trial-too-good-to-be-true
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Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 02 Jun 2018 15:56 #8307

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I think it is more a case of people wanting it to not be possible. This trial has actually come about through part of Finnish govt austerity measures. I find that very interesting considering by way of contrast we have the widely failing UC in times of sustained austerity in what is supposed to be a richer country. Following on several months from the Guardian story which also refers to more widespread media interest - the UBI trial in Finland is being widely reported to have failed despite the findings not expected to be published until after it closes at the end of 2018.
www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/universal-basic-income-finland-results-experiment-pros-cons-unemployed-trial-definition-a8325631.html

Fundamentally, a successfully working UBI would give people a source of income between jobs and this is precisely what the British Welfare State was set up to provide - not least due to considerations of wider social dysfunction such as potential rising crime and subsequent costs. In the reality of present day Great Britain, under UC you can be left waiting 5 weeks or more for your first payment even when you have found a job. Where is the progress in the C21 and how would a UBI be any worse than this for the UK? For short term work UC is simply not realistic and why it is not improving matters but rather increasing the numbers of people using foodbanks and contributing to homelessness.

I for one am inclined to believe that UC by its very name was a direct and negative response to UBI and look forward to the findings of this trial being published. How sad it would be though to find UBI proving a success in Finland only for UC to have then become a permanent fixture within the infrastructure of the UK economy for decades to come. Good luck Finland, wake up Britain!
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Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 02 Jun 2018 22:27 #8322

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On one of the paper review programmes a couple of weeks ago reference was made to an article in the Sunday Times about a dispute between the Italian Government who are in favour of some sort of UBI and the EU who are not. Might be interesting to keep an eye on developments there.
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Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 03 Jun 2018 08:16 #8324

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Indeed will keep an eye on developments;
Here under a Tory Government and a system run for and by the 10% Rich elite ;
There is no chance of UBI even getting a trial in the UK.
Dont think the current Labour opposition would work much in our favour.
But the World and struggling Economies, Rising unemployment, Is changing fast.
And a solution has got to be found.
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Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 03 Jun 2018 10:03 #8328

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Just to put you in the picture about the political situation in Italy.

Italy still appears to be in turmoil after the recent elections there. Things are far from settled. The article in the link should give a clearer understanding of the state of play and the players:

www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/italy’s-racist-lega-emerges-big-winner-latest-elections

Here in the UK the People’s Assembly, with an impressive list of affiliates, is on the rise, and on the move. The link should put you in the picture about their activities:

www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/what_we_stand_for

It keeps abreast of developments here in the UK and worldwide on issues relating to UBI, amongst other things. The approach to adapting and encouraging support for some form of UBI here in the UK is ongoing and, when formulated and developed further, will be promoted and pushed with vigour.

So, chin up, change is closer than many people think, or realise. With every passing day the Tories and their cronies and paymasters are digging their own political graves.

Labour is turning, but, like trying to turn a mammoth oil tanker at sea, needs time and space. The ‘Establishment’ has gained a foothold in the Labour Party that is not easy to dislodge. Dislodge them we must though, even if it means breaking legs.

Once one has decided to commit to the campaign, at whatever level, one should commit fully, the very idea of retreat or surrender is not an option.

That was a party political broadcast on behalf of the silent majority.
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Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 03 Jun 2018 10:15 #8329

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The Tories always bang on about a `fairer society` yet what is `fair` about sanctioning citizens, or have them living in fear of losing the roof over their heads because their civil servants have been trained to kill at the push of a button. I admire what the SNP are trying to achieve for the unemployed in Scotland and those (like myself) who have health problems that blight my life and prevent me from feeling in control of my existence because of the way welfare works now. But the Scottish government could be doing more faster, to put the boot in on sanctions and the bedroom tax. Two of the priorities that matter most to people. It`s all very well them saying they will pay discretionary payments to cover additional room costs, but how long is a piece of string.
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Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 04 Jun 2018 07:30 #8344

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www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-01/finland-universal-basic-income-welfare-reform/9709798

we would be wise to start with a template more akin to "universal credit :woohoo: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: " than to UBI :whistle: — while promoting in the narratives at schools, in government communications, and within families the idea that working is a healthy and positive activity for ourselves and for the nation.

Tell that Tory bullshit above to the million working in dead end headed jobs for rice grain pay with zero prospects or satisfaction.
Its a total myth that all work is good for you.Think the journalist meant that work is a positive activity for the 10 percent club :) .


www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/opinion/universal-basic-income-finland.html
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Money for nothing: is Finland's universal basic income trial too good to be true? 04 Jun 2018 23:48 #8384

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BB, I was going to start a separate thread on the very real possibility of a UBI or at least version of one in Italy since the main guy pushing it has got the senior finance job in the new government. Like you say though, things really have to settle politically (not unlike what is going on in Northern Ireland - a comparison I haven't picked up on from the media despite both apparently being significant to ongoing developments with the EU as a whole). And agreed, that Finland, now Italy plus the 4 council group in Scotland and the Peoples Assembly are all now associated in one way or another with a UBI it is something to feel quietly optimistic about.

Jobber, see how both articles you link lean towards the principle of work being a burden all must bear without actually daring to express it so bluntly (because they know it is a lie). Anybody's ideal job is doing something which they also enjoy as a hobby or in other words getting paid for something you would happily do for nothing. Compare that to the reality you put forward of people being forced to work for something (or rather anything according to some roaches) which virtually does not pay - a fair assessment on my part considering many of these new so called jobs created by the current govt force people to use foodbanks.

As for Gigi Foster, comparing the atrociously failing UC favourably to a UBI experiment of which the findings are not expected to be published for at least another six months; that just backs up my earlier point about them actually wanting Universal Basic Income to fail because it challenges their Victorian work house mentality. No examples of people experiencing either so we could compare for ourselves, what a surprise. Opinion indeed, nothing more to see in that one. The point is made about UC lowering admin, so they really haven't looked too far into UBI at all. UBI is presented as a disincentive when in actual fact one thing which I found extremely restrictive about active jobsearch in the UK is the high cost of public transport eg one job I went for cost me over £100 for a train ticket when we only live on an island and that rail service itself is in total disarray since it was privatised. Having a UBI to fall back on would have enabled me to go after more jobs and might have even seen me get one. The second article does highlight that this brief plan isn't actually a very accurate or we have to assume typical way a UBI would be implemented but it wasn't cancelled it was for a fixed term.

With a UBI all citizens would pretty much have their basic food provision. This would surely foster better health and in turn reduce demands on the NHS. I am giving people in general the benefit of the doubt money would tend to go on improvements in their shopping basket and not on extra alcohol or tobacco - in that we are for the large part thinking of families and not simply individuals currently assessed as deserving benefits only after winning appeals after being treated as frauds. There is still a perception from a lot of people that anybody on UC is not working and this is partly because wages have come right down to benefits levels in some cases. Even if behaving irresponsibly, people could not then argue that they had not been given the chance of a better life. Also we have to consider the reasons why some people drink too much - the state of society and their futile existence within it being just one obvious contender.

How we should compare such a generally positive possible outcome of a full UBI to a UC nearing completion but only seeming to make things worse as the months go by is direct evidence.

One notably successful foodbank is the Welcome centre in Huddersfield. Or at least it had been doing well until recently, so what could have possibly been affecting it? Here's a clue, UC is in full roll out in that town.

This up to date article puts things into perspective:

thewelcomecentre.org/universal-credit-impacts-foodbank/

It is going to be hard to see anything so damning even if the UBI trial in Finland is actually failing. But just how does a UBI actually fail - it isn't designed to create more employment for example (the usual obsession) instead it is about improving people's lives irrespective of whether they have got a ruddy job or not. Who brought jobs into it?
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