The basic income experiment had no employment impact– complete lack of any robust, high-quality service network
. The results of the basic income show that taking a stick to people only adds to their anxiety but doesn’t make employment more likely or worthwhile”, says PAM’s social policy expert Egezona Kllokoqi-Bublaku.
The basic income experiment had no convincing employment impact, but did have a considerable impact on health. This is how a research team sums up the results of the first year of this social experiment. According to PAM, the only way to support people’s participation in working life is through robust interaction with a service network.
The initial findings of an evaluation study of the basic income experiment were published today and the findings are based on observations from the first year’s survey.
The experiment has received worldwide publicity, although it is only halfway, says the research team headed by Olli Kangas, Professor of Practice at the University of Turku. The final research findings will only be published in 2020.
“What we can say at this stage is that the basic income experiment has no employment impact, meaning that the persons in the basic income experiment have not found jobs more or less easily than control group participants. The only differences found were in the experiences of wellbeing among participants in the basic income experiment. A questionnaire study carried out by Kela found that persons who received basic income reported improved wellbeing, such as less stress and concentration and health issues than in the control group”, says PAM’s social policy expert Egezona Kllokoqi-Bublaku.
At a press conference on Friday morning, Minna Ylikännö, Senior Researcher at Kela, made the point that basic income recipients had more confidence in their employment prospects and social empowerment.
“Basic income recipients naturally reported improved wellbeing since the actions of the current Sipilä government, for example the activation model and impairments to basic security, with benefits being frozen and cut, are questionable ways of addressing the incentive problems in making work more attractive”, Kllokoqi-Bublaku says.
The basic income experiment
The Finnish basic income experiment was carried out in 2017–2018. In the experiment, 2,000 unemployed persons selected at random received 560 euros a month in basic income regardless of their other income or, for example, whether they were actively looking for work. With certain restrictions, the random sample was targeted at persons aged 25–58 who were paid Kela labour market subsidy or basic unemployment allowance in November 2016 and who had not received benefits due to layoffs. The aim of the experiment was to find out how basic income affects the employment of persons receiving it. The experiment also studies how basic income affects the wellbeing of participants. Basic income was paid regardless of earned income. Further information: Kela.
“Impairing benefits and increasing obligations without a robust service network is an ineffective and socially questionable way of improving incentives anyway, because the impairments mostly hit low-income groups and thus increase poverty. The results of the basic income show that taking a stick to people only adds to their anxiety but doesn’t make employment more likely or worthwhile”, she adds.
According to Kllokoqi-Bublaku, the results of the basic income experiment confirm that the system of basic security needs reforming so that there is less red tape, more timely and appropriate services and more opportunities for training. Work should be worthwhile in any scenario and confidence in society and people should be restored.
“Basic security does not increase employment opportunities by itself. Basic security needs to be properly integrated into social, health care, rehabilitation, training and employment services. The only way to support a person’s participation, working capacity and access to training is to have robust interaction with the service network, in other words to strengthen and improve the labour market position of persons outside the labour force whilst preventing marginalisation”, she says.
According to Kllokoqi-Bublaku, services should be customised individually.
“People should be listened to and their needs addressed. People shouldn’t be hammered unfairly. Waiting times should be removed from the waiting period system if they are due to purely human factors, like if there aren’t proper child care facilities in the community, meaning that a parent – and especially a single parent can’t take up a job if child care services are not guaranteed”.
PAM is concerned about its members having adequate basic security, about the complexity of the benefits system, worsening services for persons outside the labour force and increasing regulation. PAM wants to be involved in developing the system of basic security so that as far as possible it takes account of members’ differing situations and provides proper support when people’s situations change and enables them to participate and develop and maintain their skills.