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Basic Income – Mental health effects

A two year basic income experiment that took place in Finland recently returned its results and mthey are in line with other schemes similar to basic income.

The results highlighted the following positive effects:

  • Higher generalised and institutional trust, as well as confidence in the future and increased self confidence
  • Less stress and symptoms of depression
  • Better cognitive functioning
  • Better financial well-being
  • Experienced less bureaucracy

With 61% of employed adults stating that money is a major factor that causes them the most stress it’s not hard to see why providing people with a secure financial floor, rather than a safety net full of holes that many in our society fall through, to build their lives on would have a positive effect on people’s mental health.

One of the arguments against a basic income is the cost of implementation. These arguments tend to look at the direct costs and ignore the savings that might be gained in other areas. Stress is estimated to cost the UK economy £35 billion per year and if a proportion of this is related to money issues then having a secure financial footing could reduce the costs substantially.

A universal basic income has been part of the Green Party policy platform for many years  and recently 100 UK politicians called for a basic income to be part of the recovery plan for the UK post Covid-19.

If you were confident that your financial necessities were covered what effect would it have on your mental health?