Ministers Timo Harakka (left), Antti Rinne (centre) and Mika Lintilä (right) were photographed in a joint employment seminar of the government and labour market organisations in Helsinki on 19 June 2019. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)


FORMER MINISTER OF EMPLOYMENT Jari Lindström (BR) estimates that the much-berated activation model for unemployment security should be patched up rather than stripped of its key features: the activity requirements and cuts in unemployment benefits.

Lindström wrote on Puheenvuoro on Wednesday that he is puzzled by the debate surrounding the model, which imposes a set of activity-related criteria on unemployed job seekers.

“Because I had a finger in the pie in approving the activation model, I have to state that, as a spectator, I’m confused,” he said. “If the activation model is abolished completely, it will bring back the seven-day waiting period [because of] cost neutrality. Abolishing only the cuts will in my view undermine the entire model. That’s why I’m in favour of mending the casting defect.”

Lindström has previously said the biggest regret of his ministerial tenure is approving the model without addressing its inherent flaws.

The Finnish government is seemingly divided over the much-discussed model.

The Centre has emphasised the importance of waiting for the results of an analysis of the model’s impact on the employment situation that is being conducted by VATT Institute for Economic Research. The Left Alliance, in particular, has contrastively demanded that the model be done away with without delay.

The government programme states that the cuts and obligations laid out in the activation model can be abolished as soon as a decision has been made on policy measures with a comparable impact on employment.

Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, has indicated that the government can decide on other employment next autumn, if it is proven that the model has had a positive impact on employment. VATT is expected to publish the results of its analysis in October.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi