Citizen's Income questioned

A proposal for Citizen’s Income has triggered critical comments from some leader writers. The national daily Helsingin Sanomat (3 May 2001) describes as “fanciful” Björn Wahlroos’s idea of replacing the social transfer system by a universal citizen’s income of 5,000-6,000 marks.

The newspaper thinks that Citizen’s Income is fine for hard-boiled capitalism, because it would help employers to offer extremely low-paid jobs.

“When a citizen receives a basic income in the form of citizen’s income, and when extra income does not reduce this basic income, it is possible and worthwhile to accept a low-paid job.

“The trade union movement opposes Citizen’s Income for this very reason: A world would emerge where there are more short-term jobs and low-paid jobs. By its very existance, it would threaten the basic aim of the trade union movement which is decent work conditions and decent wages.

“In the heat of the debate, a basic problem should be kept in mind – a problem highlighted by the Public Services Minister Osmo Soininvaara, who introduced the Citizen’s Income debate in Finland: There are 200,000 persons on the dole who cannot find a job. A similar mass of unemployed has appeared in other industrialised Western countries.

“The question is: Shall we leave these people dependent on  unemployment benefit and endless, futile re-training, or shall we try to create a system where the threshold to find employment for them is as low as possible? To put the question starkly: Are we going to accept public subsidies for low-paid jobs? Sooner or later decision-makers will have to answer this question and carry responsibility.”

See also:

From the archive:

Liberation from money with local exchange

9 April 2001

Brave new working life

27 March 2001

How to survive work

9 March 2001

Short term job contracts criticised

29 January 2001

Temporary jobs on the rise

18 January 2001

What makes people hate work?

5 December 2000

Farewell to full employment

20 September 2000

“Would inefficiency create more happiness?”

1 June 2000

Work: How about enjoying life?

12 March 2000

The decline of the 'employment society'

January 1999

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

November 1998

Shorter working hours – solution for the future?

November 1998

The end of work or the end of wage slavery?

June 1998

Citizen's Income model

June 1998

Archbishop of Finland supports Citizen’s Income

June 1998



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