Finland must not rest on its laurels when it comes to structural reforms, underscores Petteri Orpo, the Minister of Finance and chairperson of the National Coalition Party.
Orpo stated to his fellow party members in Tampere on Saturday that Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s (Centre) government must use what is left of its term in office to carry out the government programme.
“We should also launch new reforms and preparations for new reforms,” he said.
Orpo also reiterated his confidence that the government will be able to meet its target of raising the national employment rate to 72 per cent but stressed that the target should only be perceived as an intermediary objective.
“I told as early as one year ago that we should target an employment rate of 75 per cent. Only that’ll guarantee the sustainability of the public economy. We have a long road ahead of us to achieve a level of employment that’s high enough to guarantee functional social protection and services to everyone,” he reminded.
Standard & Poor’s acknowledged earlier last weekend that reaching the employment rate target is important particularly in light of the demographic profile of Finland.
The credit rating agency, however, also voiced its doubt about the government’s ability to reach the target due to the impact of the looming parliamentary elections on the ruling parties’ willingness to implement new reforms.
“Beyond the [social and health care] reform, we think further meaningful reform progress, for instance, in the labour market, will only be gradual as parties will start posturing for the upcoming elections,” it said.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi