Cuts in health, social security, edu censured as govt plans to save €4b

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The upcoming four-party alliance government led by Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party-NCP) in its programme decided to cut more than four billion euros during its regime, which was strongly criticized by the opposition parties.

Leaders of the conservative Kokoomus, radical rightist Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party), Suomenruotsalainenkansanpuolue (Swedish People’s Party of Finland-RKP) and the SuomenKristillisdemokraatit (Christian Democrats of Finland-CD) on Friday announced the programme where they decided to save money from various sectors including social and healthcare, social security, education and immigration.

Leaders of the opposition parties strongly criticized the upcoming government for bringing the basic sectors under the austerity measures.

Outgoing Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP) Sanna Marin said that the cuts will mostly affect the low and middle-income people.

She said that the ordinary working people will need to pay for surgery as per the new government progamme, which also will reduce the social security and employees´ rights, according to a press release issued by SDP on Friday.

“The working life policies taken by Orpo's right-wing government are found harsh, especially for low- and medium-income workers. The cuts to housing support for the poorest, unemployment insurance and common health services will hit many people who are already in a weak position,” said the Premier.

Suomen Keskusta (Centre Party of Finland) Chairperson and outgoing Finance Minister Annika Saarikko in a twitter post also expressed concern over the decision of cutting measures in health and education sector.

“Finland seems to be getting the most employee-hostile government of all time, which according to media reports is scrapping protection against dismissal and the right to strike, enabling unjustified fixed-term contracts and making the first sick leave unpaid,” Vasemmistoliitto (Left Alliance) Chairperson Li Andersson, also the Education Minister of the outgoing government said,

In a twitter post she also criticized the moves to cuts in social security, education, health and unemployment security.

“Even the income support is planned to be weakened and tightened, which shows how far this right-wing government is willing to go to make the lives of all the poorest miserable,” said Andersson.

The Vihreä liitto (Finnish Green League) Chairperson Sofia Virta in her twitter criticized the decision of lowering the age limit of child welfare, which could not be accepted.

Former Vihreä liitto Chair and the outgoing Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo also criticized the Kokoomus and RKP for tightening work- based immigration and cutting in nature conservation fund as per the demands of the radical rightist Perussuomalaiset.

According to the programme, the new government cuts included EUR 2.05 billion in Social and healthcare services, EUR 1.2 billion in Social security and benefits, EUR 149 million in education, EUR 226 million in immigration, development cooperation, defence and security, EUR 519 million in expenses tied to indexing, EUR 78 million in Agriculture and forestry, environment, EUR 228 million in Business, transportation, housing and EUR 276 million in Public sector administration.

The four-party govt in its programme announced to reshape economy and tighten immigration laws.

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