Members of the Centre and National Coalition have expressed their bafflement with the statements of Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democrats.
Rinne commented on a variety of issues including government policy, the social security reform and the social, health care and regional government reform during the course of last week – first in a debate event organised by Helsingin Sanomat and Aalto University Executive Education and later in an interview on YLE TV1.
“The impact assessments will be conducted along the way,” he stated at the debate event while shedding light on the opposition party’s proposal for overhauling the social security system in Finland.
The Social Democratic Party has tabled a proposal for establishing a new three-tier social security system that would include the student financial aid but, initially, not the housing allowance. The proposal has been criticised for creating excessive costs.
“The idea is that we should increase the supply of reasonably priced housing before tweaking the housing allowance,” Rinne stated according to Helsingin Sanomat.
Harri Jaskari (NCP) reminds that the Social Democratic Party has repeatedly stressed in criticising the government’s initiatives that the necessary impact assessments must be conducted before beginning the implementation.
“The Social Democrats think differently when it comes to the social security reform,” he writes in a blog on Puheenvuoro. “What if we also assessed the impacts of the employment promotion package’s final impacts ‘along the way’? If the impacts were negative, we would call off the reform. If the impacts were excellent, we would extend the reform to also cover larger businesses.”
Antti Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, said he is puzzled by the statement made by Rinne on YLE TV1 on Saturday that Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) is to blame for the tensions in the labour markets and that the government has mainly protected the interests of employers.
Rinne also told Uusi Suomi on Friday that the government has created tensions between itself and trade unions throughout its term in office.
“Rinne naturally has every right to his opinions, but in light of the results I would say have primarily sought to protect the interests of the unemployed,” responded Kaikkonen.
“The ultimate goal has been to create new jobs in Finland, and that is something we have succeeded in. In the electoral term, we have created jobs for well over 110,000 Finns. This has also necessitated political decisions, some of which have been difficult,” he added.
Kaikkonen also drew attention to the importance of labour market organisations focusing their efforts on sustaining the economic growth and creating jobs for the people who remain jobless.
Jaskari, similarly, viewed that trade unions are stepping into the territory of the government.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi