Finland trials gifting citizens $825 a month to counter poverty

There have been many attempts by governments in Europe to simplify the benefits system - and not always with great success.

However one country has taken a radical step which others are watching closely. In Finland they're now testing a universal benefit: the same payment of $825 from the government every month to everyone.

Finland's unemployment rate is 8 percent, and the government is hoping the latest ploy to stop people slipping into poverty will work.

At the moment it is still in a trial stage, with 2000 unemployed people picked at random to try out the plan, which will last two years.

Scottish cities Fife and Glasgow are keeping a close eye on developments in the Nordic nation, and if it is deemed a success, they are considering following suit.

There are concerns that the policy will simply discourage large companies from providing good-quality jobs with stability, and that it will push Finland into debt and dampen citizens' pursuits of full-time work.

The jury's still out on whether it's a viable future policy, or an expensive social experiment - but it's yet another example of Scandinavian nations' tendency to give outside-the-box policies a go.

ITV News / Newshub.