News in brief

Iltalehti has revealed that Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s monthly meal benefit is 850 euros, not 300 euros, as was initially reported. The allocated sum, which covers breakfast for the premier and her family while they reside at Kesäranta ( the official residence), has become a subject of heated debate in the country since the tabloid first published the story last week. 

Iltalehti pointed out that the benefit is paid for with taxpayer’s money, while Ilta-Sanomat reported that it is also non-taxable income. Police have launched a preliminary investigation into potential misconduct by employees of the Prime Minister’s Office. The prime minister herself is not suspected of any wrongdoing.  

Marin has stated that she welcomes the investigation, and will pay for her family’s food herself until the matter is clarified. The premier’s staff have confirmed that the average monthly cost of the benefit is approximately 850 euros, and includes breakfast supplies as well as cold meals. The precise sum is yet to be determined, however. 

The topic has sparked several lively discussions on online platforms, with some even suggesting that the prime minister should resign due to declining public trust and demanding the office refund taxpayers for the money spent. 

While Marin has her share of detractors; however, she has also received considerable support, with Former Prime Minister Antti Rinne coming to her defence and deeming the ongoing debate unfair. In a tweet on Friday, Rinne emphasised that lack of sufficient time would compel the prime minister to rely on officials for managing non-pressing matters such as meals.