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Universal basic income 'useless', says Finland's biggest union

• http://www.independent.co.uk, Raine Tiessalo

Finland's basic income experiment is unworkable, uneconomical and ultimately useless. Plus, it will only encourage some people to work less.

That's not the view of a hard core Thatcherite, but of the country's biggest trade union. The labour group says the results of the two-year pilot program will fail to sway its opposition to a welfare-policy idea that's gaining traction among those looking for an alternative in the post-industrial age.

"We think it takes social policy in the wrong direction," said Ilkka Kaukoranta, chief economist of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), which has nearly 1 million members.

Since January, a group of unemployed Finns aged between 25 and 58 have been receiving a stipend of €560 (£477) per month. The amount isn't means-tested and is paid regardless of whether the recipient finds a job, starts a business or returns to school.

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