Before receiving free money from Finland's government, Sini Marttinen had to take care to plot how much she could work without losing her unemployment benefits. The 35-year-old consultant could make about €300 (about R4 400) a month before she was taxed 50c in every euro above that. "You would spend a lot of time on the best strategy to get the most money," she said. But at the start of last year, Marttinen "won the lottery", in her words. The Helsinki resident was one of 2 000 unemployed people picked at random from across the country to take part in the world's most prominent trial of universal basic income. Instead of receiving her unemployment benefits, about €500 after taxes, she now receives €560 in monthly basic income. This money is unconditional - she keeps it no matter how much work she finds. "It's absolutely perfect. Because I got basic income, I could start my own business," she said. The two-year Finnish trial is at its halfway stage, and there is anecdotal evidence th...

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