The sponsors of a citizens’ initiative demanding that the so-called activation model for unemployment security be scrapped needed only a little over a week to collect the statements of support required to present the initiative to the Finnish Parliament.
The initiative hit the often elusive mark of 50,000 statements of support at approximately 5pm on Thursday.
Martin-Éric Racine, the organiser of the initiative, describes the activation model that is to be adopted as of next year as “the last straw”.
“I’m a long-term unemployed person myself who’s frustrated with the ineffectiveness, overall poor services and largely oppressing and sanctions-oriented operations of TE Offices. This activation model was the last straw from my viewpoint. We’ve got to put a stop to this,” he commented to Uusi Suomi.
Racine, who would like to work as a peacekeeper or in the tourism sector, has been without a job for almost nine of the 20 years he has lived in Finland.
The Finnish Parliament in mid-December voted 103 for and 90 against the introduction of the activation model. The model will slash unemployment benefits by 4.65 per cent for a 65-day period for job seekers who fail to work at least 18 hours, earn at least 240 euros from self-employment or participate in activities that promote their employment prospects for five days during the three-month monitoring period.
Racine criticised the activation model for its failure to take into consideration international treaties and the recommendations issued by the Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee and Social Affairs and Health Committee.
“This is a silly law that hurts many for the wrong reasons and without justification,” he slammed.
He echoed the sentiments of other critics by arguing that it is unreasonable to punish job seekers for decisions that, ultimately, are out of their control. He also reminded that the situation is particularly complicated in small localities with a high number of job seekers who have been jobless for more than a year.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi