Finland must shift the focus of its economic policy from adjustment to stimulation. Both are needed, however, but stimulation should be emphasized in the timing of measures.
– Decisions on structural reforms are needed right at the beginning of the new government’s term of office, but the reforms should not start until 2017 – 2019. Instead, there is an urgent need for stimulation policy that would increase the overall demand already at the beginning of the term. In addition to automatic stabilizers we need stimulation that stems from decisions, so the chairman of STTK Antti Palola.
– The timing of the stimulation policy can also benefit from the low interest rate level and the cheap energy price. The stimulation measures should focus on their timeliness, impermanence and correct allocation.
The growth of long-term unemployment and related exclusion are both a short-term and long-term problem. Long-term unemployment is about to generate an additional bill of one billion on the sustainability gap in this government’s term. This development must be ended.
– All possible measures to curb the growth of long-term unemployment should be taken at once. Enhancing unemployment security should be considered as part of the structural reforms, but the reforms must meet the criteria of justice. The potential reforms shall focus on supporting employment, not blaming the unemployed.
In their collective bargaining process employees, for their part, are prepared to promote growth and a change of direction in the economic policy.
– After the parliamentary elections it would be possible to negotiate a completely new, longer-lasting labour market settlement. In addition to pay and taxation, it should focus on issues related to developing the working life. For instance, the pension reform that was achieved last autumn requires investment in older employees, Palola emphasizes.
– Furthermore, we should consider tax cuts for SMEs that seek growth and employ people, if they leave the profit in the company to develop the business, Palola adds.
STTK and the parliamentary electionsPrior to the elections, STTK influences the parties and their MP candidates by bringing up subjects that are important to our members, as well as our views on how Finland will rise from the turning point to success, and what should be entered in the next government programme. We organize discussions in 11 localities throughout Finland. The election panels present regional MP candidates discussing the most important questions of the elections on the basis of the government programme objectives of STTK. STTK does not finance parties or individual candidates. For further discussion: #suomimenestyy