Citizens receiving a basic monthly income as part of a radical Finnish pilot scheme have seen a reduction in their stress levels, according to local officials, the Independent reports.
Under the scheme, 2,000 people receive 560 euros every month for two years. Recipients do not have to report whether they are seeking employment or how they are spending the money, which is deducted from any benefits they are already receiving.
Marjukka Turunen, head of KELA, the legal unit at Finland's social insurance agency, said as well as cutting bureaucracy, reducing costs and tackling poverty, the scheme was having an indirectly positive effect on people's mental health.
“There was this one woman who said: ‘I was afraid every time the phone would ring, that unemployment services are calling to offer me a job," Ms Turunen said.
The woman was not able to work because she was caring for elderly parents.
Under the pilot, if a participant finds work, they will continued to receive the stipend, easing claimants' fears they will lose out by finding employment, the Independent says.
Finland's universal basic income trial for unemployed reduces stress levels, says official (Independent)
Finland's guaranteed basic income is working to tackle poverty (Kera News)