The social security net is central to the Nordic welfare model.
It is rooted in the basic principle of universal rights, and everybody has the individual right to assistance from the public sector if they are unable to look after themselves.
As a point of departure, these rights are the same for all, regardless of factors such as income and assets. One crucial way in which the Nordic system differs from other welfare models is that rights are not acquired on the basis of previous payments (e.g. national insurance payments) or status (e.g. employment). Welfare is funded collectively via taxation, and the individuals’ rights are not linked to their tax history.
Another central objective of the social security net is that public-sector support is designed to facilitate the maintenance of a reasonable and decent standard of living. As a result, the basic level of Nordic social benefits is high compared with other countries.