Finland’s three ruling parties have attempted to speed up the social, health care and regional government reform by putting an end to expert hearings at the Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee.
Talouselämä on Monday reported that the committee decided in its extraordinary meeting, by a vote of 10 for and 7 against, to no longer summon experts to comment on the long-discussed reform bill.
The ruling parties justified their stance by arguing that it is finally time for decisions, whereas opposition parties have reiterated that expert hearings are required to ensure the bill is not in violation of the constitution.
“The government is apparently unwilling to make sure the social and health care reform will get through the Constitutional Law Committee,” tweeted Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto (Greens).
“The committee had to vote again on whether it can hear key experts. The government prevented it from doing so by a vote of 10 for and 7 against. The government is apparently in a rush to hit a constitutional wall with the reform,” she added.
Hannakaisa Heikkinen, a deputy chairperson of the Social Affairs and Health Committee, contrastively expressed her relief that the ruling parties were unanimous that no more expert hearings are necessary.
“I’m very relieved that we managed to stop this perpetual motion machine,” she phrased.
Heikkinen also estimated that the constitutional issues in the bill have already been addressed thoroughly by the government, making it possible to proceed with the reform process without another round of expert hearings.
The Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee on Monday agreed unanimously that it will double its workload for September by convening two times a day, four days a week until the bill is ready for presentation to the Constitutional Law Committee.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi