Social security cutbacks take effect in Finland despite onging strike-Xinhua

Social security cutbacks take effect in Finland despite onging strike

Source: Xinhua| 2024-04-03 12:20:30|Editor: huaxia

HELSINKI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- First major cutbacks in social security by the Finnish government led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo took effect on Monday, while the country's leading trade unions extended their strikes into the fourth week.

"Social security has to be renewed into the direction that it encourages the choice of accepting work," said Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, minister of social security on Finnish national radio Yle, reiterating that the reforms are necessary.

Grahn-Laasonen said that the government plans, which have been given to parliament, will lead to employment of 74,000 people and a 1.7 billion euro (1.83 billion U.S. dollars) impact on public spending.

The Social Insurance Institution (Kela) said around half a million households will be affected by the cuts, with the greatest impact expected on young people who are unemployed or living alone.

In Finland, young people aged 18 and above are eligible for public housing support.

In the overhaul, child support extras in unemployment benefits and the right to earn 300 euro (323 U.S. dollars) per month without forfeiting the benefit were cancelled.

In housing allowances, the compensation percentage was reduced and the basic deductible increased. Housing costs that exceed the regional maximum limits will no longer be accepted and benefit recipients will be asked to find more affordable housing or to pay the excess themselves, Kela noted in a release.