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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) spoke to reporters in the Parliament House in Helsinki on 13 February, 2018.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) spoke to reporters in the Parliament House in Helsinki on 13 February, 2018.

 

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) shed light on the reasons for the government’s recent decision to abandon the long-discussed family leave reform in his blog on Monday.

Sipilä drew particular attention to the impact assessments commissioned by the reform task force headed by Annika Saarikko (Centre), the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, revealing that the final option under consideration was projected to only have an employment impact of 1,600 man-years.

“This was a terribly small number in light of the expected value, the numbers circulating in the public and the costs of the reform,” he wrote.

The proposal, he added, would have also reduced the social security benefits of two-thirds of families in the short term, thus undermining the financial position of especially low-income families.

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“These proposals would’ve had a negligible impact on the employment situation, would’ve been costly for the public economy and would’ve been cuts for families with children,” he summarised on Twitter.

Sipilä revealed in his blog that the government decided in its budget session that the reform would be abandoned if a consensus was not reached in the strategy session held in January. “We did our best until the very end until we had to concede that carrying out the reform in the current electoral term will be impossible,” he wrote.

He also predicted that the reform will be on the agenda of the next government.

His concession provoked a spiteful response from especially the ranks of the Green League. “So, it’ll be impossible to overhaul family leaves and promote equality in Finland until the Centre is in the opposition,” snapped Emma Kari (Greens).

“The National Coalition is still willing to overhaul family leaves,” announced Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education. “We unfortunately weren’t able to do that with the current group as revising the structure of child home care allowance was out of the question. We’ll continue to fight for a modern family policy and equality.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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