Statistics Finland has reported that real income increased for households in every income decile in Finland in 2017. The increases, however, were noticeably greater for the highest-income households than for low- and middle-income households, resulting in a widening of income differences.
Paavo Arhinmäki, an ex-chairperson of the Left Alliance, says income differences increased more than expected.
Arhinmäki on Tuesday highlighted in his blog that differences in the so-called factor income were larger last year than ever before on record. Statistics Finland defines factor income as property income, entrepreneurial income and wages or salaries earned by households for participation in production activities.
“Income distribution statistics for last year show that the calculations commissioned by left-wing opposition parties are accurate, perhaps too much so. Income differences have grown substantially. Even more than we expected or feared,” he wrote.
The Left Alliance, he said, has spoken extensively about income equality and called for measures to mitigate earnings inequality specifically due to the differences in factor income.
Statistics Finland on Tuesday revealed that the earnings of households in the highest income decile rose by 4.4 per cent year-on-year in 2017. The earnings of households in the fifth and sixth income decile, in turn, grew by 1.3 per cent and those of households in the four lowest income deciles by 1.2 per cent, despite a 2.2 per cent increase in the earnings of the lowest income decile.
The statistical institution estimated that in recent years the growth in factor income differences has been attributable to increasingly unequal distribution of income among the population at large, although last year the growth was attributable to property income.
Arhinmäki accused the government of targeting its belt-tightening measures at low-income households while bragging about no longer having to run up debt.
“The government will drive many low-income people into debt hell this and next year, while it continues to issue warnings about the perils of debt. The personal debt of an individual is by nature completely different to central government debt,” he stated.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi