Finland Basic Income: positive results show case for UK and Scottish Governments to pursue alternatives to Universal Credit - RSA

Finland Basic Income: positive results show case for UK and Scottish Governments to pursue alternatives to Universal Credit

Press release

The results are in

The Finnish government today published initial data from its Basic Income trials. 

Key points:

  • No evidence that Basic Income disincentives work
  • Positive effect of Basic Income on mental health, physical health and overall levels of wellbeing
  • Higher levels of trust from participants in society, Government and particpants' own future work prospects.

See here for more information


Commenting, Anthony Painter, director of Action and Research at the RSA, said:

"Supporters of Basic Income will be encouraged by the early data from the Finnish experiments.

"In the first year, Finnish recipients of a Basic Income were no more or less likely to work but enjoyed higher mental and physical health and levels of well-being. This mirrors what many previous experiments have shown. Advocates will note that the criticism leveled at Basic Income - that it would disincentivise work - is not supported by this data.

"Recipients of Basic Income also had greater levels of trust in each other, in Government, and in their ability to improve their work situation in the future.

"Under Universal Credit, in the UK we have seen the disastrous social effects of harsh welfare sanctions. This data adds to the evidence base for a more humane welfare system and shows there is a strong case for Basic Income experiments in the UK.

"It would be good to see 'saturation pilots' in particular, in which everyone in an specific area receives a Basic Income. Five localities in the UK, four of which are in Scotland, have volunteered to explore hosting such a pilot. The UK government must support the Scottish Government's exploration of a trial and act to establish pilots in the rest of the UK. 

"Critics of the idea of UBI often ask why the idea doesn't just go away. Today's evidence shows why. Basic Income can be one of the answers to providing for greater economic security and well-being."



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Ash Singleton, RSA Head of Media and Communications, [email protected], 07799 737 970.



The RSA is an independent charity whose mission is to enrich society through ideas and action.

The organisation is led by Matthew Taylor, who recently authored the Taylor Review into modern employment practices for the Prime Minister.

Our work covers a number of areas including the rise of the 'gig economy', robotics & automation; education & creative learning; and reforming public services to put communities in control.

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