Katri Kulmuni, the newly appointed chairperson of the Centre Party, outlined her policy objectives in Helsinki on Thursday, 12 September 2019. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

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KATRI KULMUNI, the newly appointed chairperson of the Centre Party, shed light on her views on a broad range of issues including immigration, child poverty, and economic and employment policy in a speech delivered in front of the party faithful in Helsinki on Thursday.

“The Centre wants to eradicate poverty in families with children in Finland,” she outlined.

“The ruling parties have agreed to improve the income and services of families with multiple children and families in the lowest income classes. We want to provide everyday help to families, quickly. When the family leaves are reformed, the reform must be an upgrade to families – not a downgrade.”

Kulmuni stated that she is honoured to have earned a reputation as a hard-line regional policy-maker, emphasising that everyone regardless of age and place of residence must have equal access to the necessary services.

“Children must have access to healthy schools, the elderly must receive care and transport routes must be in good condition. This applies to both the countryside and the city – to the whole country.”

She added that the government must take action to tackle the urgent skills shortage faced by businesses especially in sparsely populated areas by, for example, increasing education and training opportunities all over the country.

The Centre, she stated, has a duty to promote responsible economic policy making in the ruling coalition consisting primarily of left-wing parties and will leave no stone unturned to meet the objective of adding 60,000 people to the ranks of the employed by the end of the electoral term in 2023.

“We expect the others to do the same. We have to come up with the first employment measures in next week’s budget session,” stressed Kulmuni.

She also encouraged the public to engage in a debate on issues such as immigration and climate change, which, according to her, may have been employed to create divisions within the population.

“People in a vulnerable position will get help. We also need workers. But at the same time, the asylum system must not be abused. If you don’t have the right to reside in the country, please leave. This is the position of the Centre.”

Finland, she also acknowledged, must also re-think its faltering integration policy and make sure those staying in the country utilise the education, employment and language-learning opportunities more effectively. 

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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