The EU is demanding more money from Finland and other countries because of Brexit and because they want too expand their remit. At the same time the Finnish government is cutting back on education, healthcare and childcare.
The 2 big parties in government, the Conservative Party and the Centre Party, seem to think that it is better to give money to the EU than care for our own citizens with the aim of reducing unemployment.
Finland has many big labor market problems – too many who could work in paying jobs are either unemployed, voluntarily outside the job market because they want to care for their children at home, or because they are fed up looking for jobs.
There is also a large number of young people who are discriminated against in the job market because they have not completed their education – a group of some 70 000 young people have been identified 45% of whom are without jobs. These folk are as important as any other members of the population and yet they are sidelined by a lack of resources to ensure that they find work and enjoy a normal family lives.
Recent weekend interviews by FinnishNews with young mothers and fathers here in Helsinki confirms that well-educated parents in the city want to return to work when their children reach 15 – 16 months. That is the time they feel that the child will benefit more from professionally managed kindergartens compared to mother or father staying at home and missing out on career opportunities.
Politicians in the Centre Party and many politicians in the municipal system prefer that mothers stay at home and look after children for up too 3 years because then the municipalities do not have to invest in kindergarten buildings and staff. Repeated studies from other Nordic countries confirm that:
- Mothers who stay out of the labor market for long periods to care for their children most often see their job opportunities weaken.
- Mothers who are poorly educated, in low paying jobs, are attracted to stay at home because of the child support paid over long periods. Long periods away from work makes them less eligible to return to work, they lose pension benefits, and a divorce, which is common in all social classes, can be catastrophic socially and economically for her and the children.
It appears that the 2 main political parties in government were not even prepared to examine alternatives, according to recent stories reported in the national media. It is reported that the Conservative Party refused to allow extra cash for alternative solutions to solve these important problems, while the Centre Party refused to contemplate making any radical changes because they fear losing even more voter support in the polls.
However, the Finance Minister, Mr. Orpo, the leader of the Conservative Party, has now said that he is willing to consider extra funding for the EU! The present Prime Minister, Mr. Sipilä, who is leader of the Centre Party has, so far, not made any statement about extra funding for the EU, although, he is well-known for blindly supporting, after the fact, Ms. Merkel’s EU policies.
Given that resources are so limited for the funding of important public expenditure in Finland, and given the level of mismanagement and excessive pensions and expenses of the EU, it appears that our Minister of Finance needs to reign in his generosity towards the EU, or is he planning to find some pleasant well paying job for himself like Mr. Katainen, within the EU at some later date?