Trade unions oppose Citizen's Income

The recent proposal for a Citizen's Income has not found favour among the Finnish trade union movement. Some representatives of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) demolished the idea immediately when it was recently put forward by a leading business man. Now SAK as a whole has condemned the proposal for a universal payment for every citizen.

According to an editorial in the social democratic newspaper Uutispäivä Demari (15 May 2001), SAK thinks that the only sustainable solution to poverty is to guarantee all healthy persons capable of work a chance to earn their living by waged work.

"If a person is not in good health and capable of work, this principle obviously does not apply and the person needs help. But the long-term unemployed can be confronted with difficulties in getting a job even if they fulfil the SAK definition of how a person capable of work should earn their living.

"Thus SAK suggests that society should be given the responsibility to re-organise work for the long-term unemployed and also that employers should have to commit themselves to employing the long-term unemployed who have been given training in re-employment programmes. The idea is to help those who need help to get work, not handing out equal amounts of money to everyone."

Uutispäivä Demari points out that SAK sticks to its basic analysis, according to which poverty and exclusion are consequences of the mass unemployment of the early 90s. For many, it created a situation of long-term unemployment.

"The conclusion follows that to put an end to the spiral of poverty, an answer must be sought in getting a job and improving unemployment benefits."

The newspaper writes that these thoughts are a clear answer to the Citizen's Income idea. The paper describes the idea as "fanciful".

See also:

From the archive:

Why a Citizen's Income should be combined with a Citizen's Wage

November 1998




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