Finnish Politics this week – Knickers in a Twist

The Conservatives and True Finns have “Got their knickers in a twist”, and before readers get upset about being politically correct, they should read the note here:

The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms writes this: “get your knickers in a twist” means to become upset or angry and was originally used specifically of women, the humorous masculine equivalent being get your Y-fronts in a twist.

The Finnish Prime Minister, Mr. Orpo, and his second in command, Ms. Pura, the Finance Minister, are still high on whatever they use to stay awake at their local discos…

Both big parties said a few months ago that they would cut the increase in public debt and reduce taxes. They have done neither according to their new first budget!

Debt will increase while taxes are being reduced – Brilliant – that is the exact opposite of what they promised in April at the election… making them real election buccaneers à la Trump…

Debt it is being increased by some €1,4 billion this coming year, and they claim that “taxes” are being reduced. These taxes are not really taxes but something else which they did not decide on. The truth is that there was an unexpected increase in employment which resulted in excess funds in the unemployment fund. This excess means that workers will see an automatic reduction in the rate that workers have to pay to top up this unemployment fund out of their monthly income.

This looks like a tax reduction, but it is just one extra social security payment which is not a revenue tax for the government’s budget. However, both the two big parties in the government now talk about how they have reduced taxes! If anything, the credit should go to the last government for their employment policies, and certainly not the present group of folk who want to pretend that they are prudent guardians of our economy.

Now to save face they appear to be preparing the ground for tax increases by saying that our economy is in worse shape compared to two months ago! That claim is not based on any significant changes in the data – we all know that the economy was going south because consumers and companies must deal with higher interest rates, steep price increases for food and other primary materials, as well as with fuel. There is just less money circulating and the present government’s plans for austerity will not exactly revive the economy from this gloom.

Paul Krugman, an independent economics professor, has written realms about the fallacy that lower taxes increase economic activity or somehow reduce unemployment! We need to make sure that those who can afford to pay should pay a little more to release cash for reducing the debt burden. But this right-wing government is out to please those with higher wages, not the working classes.  The government’s timing of allowing a large absolute reduction in the above social payments to well-paid workers who earn €10 000 and more (which is some 3 times more than the average salary of ordinary workers) is hard hearted, especially when other benefits for low-wage workers are being cut!

Yes, the ladies and gentlemen in this new government have certainly got their underwear in a twist… and they have been caught with their trousers down by doing the opposite to what they promised voters just a few months ago.

One may also wonder about the True Finns here too – the other big party in the government. They made their claim to represent the ordinary worker at election time, but now they are hurting these unfortunate folk with less subsidies and reduced worker’s rights. I will bet my hat that they will be far down in the polls by Christmas.

Why do voters have such short memories, or is this present situation caused by clever spin doctors who get paid to write appealing party manifestos that have no chance in hell of being implemented?

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