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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) says the Finnish government is committed to developing the society in a way that is financially responsible, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

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FINLAND must have the courage to invest in people and knowledge and do its utmost to ensure no citizens and regions are left behind in the development of the society, underlines Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP).

Marin on Tuesday said in her New Year’s message that the government has taken up the challenge of delivering bold, stable and sustainable reforms designed to develop the country as financially responsibly, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable society.

“We believe that society can and must be developed in a balanced way,” she wrote.

The Finnish government aims to achieve economic sustainability not only by pursuing an active labour policy, but also by making investments in education, research and infrastructure, as well as reforming the industrial make-up in a climate-sustainable way.

Because Finland is heavily reliant on exports, much will depend on global economic development, she acknowledged.

“A stable and predictable operating environment is essential for companies. We need to avoid purely reactive policies while responding to cyclical changes. This is the approach we adopted in the national budget for next year, which is mildly expansionary in view of slowing growth,” said Marin.

She added that the government is pursuing social sustainability through improvements in basic security and services, such as the increases in small pensions, basic security, investments at all levels of training and education that came into effect on 1 January 2020.

Over 600,000 Finns will consequently see their pensions increase and 70 per cent of the public their disposable income rise, highlighted Marin.

“With the repeal of the activation model [for unemployment security], unemployed job seekers will be able to focus on looking for work without having to worry about losing income,” emphasised Marin.

“The strength of a society is measured not by the wealth of its most affluent members, but by how well its most vulnerable citizens are able to cope. The question we need to ask is whether everyone has the chance to lead a good and dignified life.”

Marin also estimated that countries worldwide must do their part in what must be a decade of solutions in the fight against the climate emergency.

“This calls for decisions that reduce emissions and strengthen carbon sinks. We will rely on scientific data while taking account of the social and regional impacts of the solutions proposed,” she pledged.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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