Finland has been giving 2,000 of its citizens an unconditional income for the last five months and some are already seeing the benefits – reporting decreased stress – greater incentives to find work and more time to pursue business ideas.
The scheme is the first of its kind in Europe and sees participants receive €560 (£473) every month for two years.
Recipients do not have to demonstrate that they are seeking employment and they are not required to regularly report to authorities to prove they still need the payment as is the case with standard unemployment benefits.
They can spend the money however they like.
Under the pilot if a participant finds work they will continue to receive the stipend – removing one of the limitations of current welfare systems – the disincentive to find work.
The trial is one measure introduced by the centre-right government to tackle Finland’s unemployment problem.