Reasons to live in Finland: sumptuous scenery, good skiing, and, oh we don’t know, maybe the fact the government is about to pay all of its citizens 800 Euros (£576) every month.
You read that right.
As part of a new government strategy, Finland is looking to scrap all welfare benefits including unemployment handouts in favour of universal lump sums handed out to every Finn in the shape of a cool (well it is cold over there) €800, tax free, every month. Sort of like getting £200 for passing Go without the thrill of doing it in a silver racing car.
It’s a bold move - one that would be at a collective cost of €52.2bn per year - and seemingly a popular one, with 69 per cent of residents backing the idea, which comes at a difficult time for the Scandi nation.
Despite once boasting the highest income per capita in the world, Finland currently finds itself in the grip of a three-year recession, summed up by this damning recent government forecast:
"The Finnish economy is in a serious situation. GDP growth is close to zero. Unemployment is rising and unemployment spells are becoming longer. Even once the recession is over, growth will be painfully slow."
Next year, The Netherlands will be trialling a similar plan entitled Utrecht, while the people of Finland will have to wait until next November before finding out if their new fiscal plan of €800 per month comes to fruition.
So best hold off on those widescreen TV deposits for now, guys.
[Via: The Independent]