Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) addressed the Finnish Parliament as it debated his government’s statement on employment policy direction and measures to encourage small businesses to hire employees. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) addressed the Finnish Parliament as it debated his government’s statement on employment policy direction and measures to encourage small businesses to hire employees. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) says his government will continue to move forward with its much-discussed proposal to ease laying off for small businesses.

“The Parliament has clearly determined across the government—opposition divide that we should proceed with the employment policy measures that have produced results, including [the proposal to adjust protection against unilateral termination at small businesses],” he stated after the government’s policy approach won the backing of 101 Members of the Finnish Parliament on Wednesday.

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Most Members of the Finnish Parliament expressed their support the government and its employment policy approach in a vote held in the Parliament on Wednesday, 17 October. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)
Most Members of the Finnish Parliament expressed their support the government and its employment policy approach in a vote held in the Parliament on Wednesday, 17 October. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

 

The Finnish government and its employment policy approach continue to enjoy the confidence of most Members of the Parliament.

Members of the Parliament on Wednesday voted 101 for and 73 against the government following a parliamentary debate held one day earlier on the employment policy approach and measures required to encourage hiring by small businesses.

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“Employment is massively important for the public economy. We’re talking about funding hospitals, daycare centres and care for ageing people,” Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) said in the Parliament on Tuesday. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
“Employment is massively important for the public economy. We’re talking about funding hospitals, daycare centres and care for ageing people,” Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) said in the Parliament on Tuesday. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

The Finnish government’s economic policy has benefited especially the roughly 100,000 people who have found a way out of unemployment over the past couple of years, says Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).

“When you take into consideration the employment impact of the government’s decisions, you can see that income inequalities have only increased moderately or not at all despite the difficult decisions,” he stated in the Finnish Parliament on Tuesday.

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Eero Heinäluoma (SDP) on Tuesday voiced his puzzlement with the absence of key cabinet members during a parliamentary debate on a government statement on the employment policy line in Finland. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)
Eero Heinäluoma (SDP) on Tuesday voiced his puzzlement with the absence of key cabinet members during a parliamentary debate on a government statement on the employment policy line in Finland. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

 

Members of the Finnish Parliament on Tuesday debated at length a government statement on its employment policy approach, but failed to make any progress in bridging the gulf between the ruling and opposition parties.

Some representatives, in fact, viewed that the government’s inability to justify its position only exacerbated the confusion surrounding its proposal to ease laying off for small businesses.

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (centre), Minister of Employment Jari Lindström (right) and Kalle Jokinen (left), the chairperson of the National Coalition Parliamentary Group, talked to the media in a news conference in Helsinki on Thursday, 11 October. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (centre), Minister of Employment Jari Lindström (right) and Kalle Jokinen (left), the chairperson of the National Coalition Parliamentary Group, talked to the media in a news conference in Helsinki on Thursday, 11 October. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

 

The Finnish government has, as promised, issued a statement on its employment policy approach to the Parliament, which will debate the statement tomorrow and vote on it on Wednesday.

The statement has been widely regarded as a means to present for parliamentary consideration a much-discussed government proposal for allowing businesses with no more than 10 employees to make lay-offs on personal grounds.

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Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League, has yet to announce his timetable for resuming his duties at the helm of the opposition party. He has been on a sick leave for exhaustion-related reasons since mid-September. (Credit: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)
Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League, has yet to announce his timetable for resuming his duties at the helm of the opposition party. He has been on a sick leave for exhaustion-related reasons since mid-September. (Credit: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

 

Kimmo Grönlund, a professor of political science at Åbo Akademi University, says the autumn has not been good for the Finnish Green League.

The opposition party is seemingly at a loss at how to reverse its downward slide in opinion polls, with its popularity falling by one percentage point to 11.6 per cent, according to YLE, and by 0.8 percentage points to 12.3 per cent, according to Alma Media, in September.

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Anna-Maja Henriksson, the chairperson of the Swedish People’s Party, has urged the government and trade unions to find a common way forward in their long-running dispute over a proposal to ease laying off for small businesses. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)
Anna-Maja Henriksson, the chairperson of the Swedish People’s Party, has urged the government and trade unions to find a common way forward in their long-running dispute over a proposal to ease laying off for small businesses. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

The Finnish government’s decision to issue a statement on its employment policy approach has raised eyebrows among a number of opposition members.

Anna-Maja Henriksson, the chairperson of the Swedish People’s Party, says the attempt to seek support for the policy approach is unusual and indicative of a complete lack of dialogue between the government and labour market organisations.

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) announced on Thursday his government will issue a statement on its employment policy approach to the Parliament. “This is an exceptional measure,” he said. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) announced on Thursday his government will issue a statement on its employment policy approach to the Parliament. “This is an exceptional measure,” he said. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

 

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) announced yesterday his three-party ruling coalition will put its employment policy approach to a vote in the Finnish Parliament.

The government has yet to present its legislative proposal to make laying off easier for businesses with no more than 10 employees, which has provoked not only widespread public debate but also industrial actions from numerous trade unions, to the Parliament.

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Petri Sarvamaa (NCP), a Member of the European Parliament, believes the European Commission’s position on Finland’s plan to restrict distance sales of alcohol came as an unpleasant surprise to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. (Credit: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)
Petri Sarvamaa (NCP), a Member of the European Parliament, believes the European Commission’s position on Finland’s plan to restrict distance sales of alcohol came as an unpleasant surprise to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. (Credit: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

 

The Finnish government’s notification concerning the distance sales of alcoholic beverages has been rejected by the European Commission.

The European Commission published its detailed opinion on the notification on Tuesday, viewing that the measures laid out in the notification are partly excessive and would constitute a quantitative restriction on the free movement of goods as a “de jure discrimination against imported alcoholic beverages”.

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The Finnish government’s proposal to overhaul real estate taxation has stirred up concerns among a number of experts, reminds Anna-Maja Henriksson, the chairperson of the Swedish People’s Party. (Credit: Mesut Turan – Lehtikuva)
The Finnish government’s proposal to overhaul real estate taxation has stirred up concerns among a number of experts, reminds Anna-Maja Henriksson, the chairperson of the Swedish People’s Party. (Credit: Mesut Turan – Lehtikuva)

 

The Swedish People’s Party is concerned about the effects of a proposed real estate tax reform, particularly on the tax burden of people living in single-family homes.

“The necessary impact assessments have not been conducted when setting out to reform the real estate tax. We cannot accept the risk that people living on small pensions have to move out of their owner-occupied homes as a consequence of a sharp increase in real estate tax rates,” says Thomas Blomqvist, the chairperson of the Swedish People’s Parliamentary Group.

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Jarkko Eloranta, the chairperson of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions, on Friday questioned business owners’ estimates of the number of jobs created by a government proposal to ease laying off for small businesses. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)
Jarkko Eloranta, the chairperson of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions, on Friday questioned business owners’ estimates of the number of jobs created by a government proposal to ease laying off for small businesses. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

 

Harri Jaskari (NCP), a third-term Member of Parliament from Pirkanmaa, has voiced his frustration with the heated debate surrounding a government proposal to make laying off easier for small businesses.

“The saddest part of the whole ordeal is that bystanders are the ones suffering,” he laments in a blog posted on Puheenvuoro on Sunday.

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