Jussi Halla-aho, Chairperson, the Finns Party – Finns Party’s ’Workmen’s Discussion Hour’, February 22, 2019
Welcome to the audience here and the listeners and viewers around the country. Thanks to Matti Putkonen, our ’workman,’ who has again arranged the ’Workmen’s Discussion Hour.’
Finnish Parliamentary elections are in less than 2 months time. That the elections are coming closer is seen by the ’back pedalling competition’ which has opened up by other parties in recent days. The Social Democrats opened the race by now being alarmed by the poor quality and facilities of care and nursing facilities for the elderly and small children that has gotten much publicity in the media. They want to forget that the last time they were in the government, they were more than eager to make cuts in these kinds of social services.
But the winner of the back pedalling ’race’ goes to the National Coalition (Kokoomus) Party – they have started a campaign to support motorists outside the cities with huge highway billboards while previously they have been enthusiastically trying to increase costs of owning and operating automobiles. That previous policy was part of a fanatical ’climate change panel’ with other Finnish political parties (the Finns Party withdrew from that ’panel’). Similarly they have begun to make noises in the effort to curb immigration – previously they have almost been spreading out ’welcome mats’ and also telling how difficult, if not impossible, it is to return migrants to Iraq and Afghanistan. Their policies now seem to be taking pages from the Finns Party ’book’ yet say that they have no intention of sharing power with the Finns Party in any new government. The Centre and Green Parties are likewise putting their finger to the air to see which way political winds are blowing. If all these parties had had any intention to really solve the immigration problem during these years, it would have already been done.
The Finns Party, in contrast, is standing consistently behind the principle which is at its core – the Finnish government’s primary mission is to further the well-being and security of Finland and its citizens.
The election catchphrase for the Finns Party is ’Return to Finland’s Future’ whereby the party looks forward to re-establishing the traditional values of Finland and the Finnish society.
The structure of the Finns Party’s program can be thought of as being based on three components:
- it’s only possible to share what actually IS.
- there must be a hierarchy of priorities for the shared resources.
- the resource base must be increased.
- ’ What actually IS’ — Finland cannot live on the basis of the continuous growth of the public debt. And it should not be selling off its natural resources to cover present expenditures. The government must make decisions which serve not only the present population but also coming generations. Debt has been increasing even in this recent period of expansion – what will happen when there will be – as there always is – a contraction – particularly as it affects the very important export industries? Public expenditures must be managed with studied firmness.
- ’Setting priorities’ — It must be realized that budget programs are essentially ’zero sum games.’ Funds chosen for one purpose are, in effect, not available for other purposes. Expense cutting must be done with a planned strategy and not just reduction via ’thin slices’ here and there. If, now, Finland is ’short’ 200 million Euros with regard to nursing and care homes and services, how can it be rational to be using that money for immigration programs which actually have been shown to be ineffective?
The number of police per capita in Finland is the lowest for all EU countries – yet Finland is the 6th largest country, by area, in the European Union! There are just not enough police personnel to meet the needs of Finns and especially in the less-populated areas. A problem throughout the country is that smaller crimes and infractions are not being attended to – there is just simply a shortage of funds. But at the same time, all kinds of money are going to the border with Sweden to handle the flow of immigrants!
Finnish adults and children are, every day, going to work and to school in buildings which are found to be seriously affected with dampness and mould conditions. Repairs to these buildings are projected to cost something between 1.2 and 1.6 billion Euros. That is the same amount now being spent on migrant housing and support! Nobody is even asking where Finland gets the money to put these buildings in repair.
As I have said – the Finns Party’s priority is to advance the well-being and security of Finland and the Finnish citizen. Politics is the mechanism whereby the society makes choices – the costs of immigration can only be decided on – and changed – by immigration policy.
- Resource base must be increased.
For managing a nation’s budget, it is least as important to grow the amount of resources as it is to cut and/or prioritize expenditures. The growth of employment and entrepreneurship will increase taxation revenue as well as lowering economic dependence which will decrease subsidy and support expenses.
The Finns Party believes export industries must be supported. Housing and transportation costs should be decreased so that more disposable income remains in people’s pockets. Taxes on energy sources for heating and transportation should be lowered. Prosperity is not produced by welfare and subsidy transfers – it is generated by work productivity and innovation through entrepreneurship. From those resources, the society will have the possibility to care for the elderly, children and the disabled.
It must be realized that governmental resource management is inextricably tied to any proposed climate change policy. The Finns Party doesn’t wish to go along with the other political parties just to be able to take some kind of ’self-assigned moral’ position but rather look at a continent- or global-wide program that is comprehensive, effective, practical and ’fair.’ Emission reduction and control should happen where it is the simplest as well as being the most cost-effective. It is certainly irrational to set out emission reduction programs in places that are already doing their ’share’ on a global basis and where the program costs are the highest. Emission control shouldn’t be made stricter or emissions reduced at a faster rate than what is agreed for the whole European Union. An industrial chimney in Finland is a good thing for the environment – if it was to be built in China instead, it’s almost certain the emissions coming to Europe would be more than what would have been produced in Finland.
As automisation and robotisation develop and progress in industry, the necessity for high quality education will increase. As it stands now, Finnish education is undergoing unwelcome degradation – children are not always achieving proper levels of literacy and the number of dropouts from vocational schools is increasing. At the same time, people that have achieved higher levels of education and training are leaving Finland for higher salaries elsewhere. Taking their place are migrants seeking asylum and refuge as well as employment in positions requiring lower education and skill levels. More resources are needed for Finnish education – however, there seems to be more funding and attention to the social integration of migrants than the education of Finnish children.
The Finns Party is the only political party trying to also limit the import of migrants who are coming to Finland for work – the result of this unwelcome phenomenon is to supply Finland with cheap labour and workers who are more satisfied with lower working conditions than Finns. The Finnish worker has struggled for years to increase wage and working condition levels – and these decreases are certainly not acceptable. An associated problem is that the salaries are not sufficient to cover living costs – especially in the larger cities where costs are higher. This situation results in the lowering of living standards for Finnish workers as well – and increases the government funds needed for subsidies and unemployment payments.
If the Finnish worker cannot live on the wages that actually come into ’competition’ with welfare subsidies, it doesn’t make sense to blame the worker – or in this case, the unemployed worker. This kind of hokey-pokey cannot then be the reason employers can’t find suitable Finnish workers. It is a real conundrum and the cycle must be broken. The Finns Party definitely does not want to eliminate the requirement for employers to show true need for non-EU workers – indeed the requirements should be significantly tightened.
The Finns Party’s election program is based on realism, responsibility and accountability – and setting goals that are compatible with the means to achieve them. The party recognizes and understands – not just proclaims – the problems facing the average Finn and our mission is to offer effective solutions.
The Finns Party realizes there are ’price tags’ on this process – monetary or otherwise – and the price is to be paid mostly by the ordinary citizen. In that regard the party commissioned an official Gallup study which showed that:
– 19% of Finns were willing to pay ’zero’ Euros per year for ’Climate Change’ remedial actions that would affect transportation, energy and heating costs as proposed by the other political parties,
– 25% were willing to pay 10 Euros per year – and
– 31% were willing to pay 100 Euros per year
In total, 75% of Finns were willing to pay 100 Euros per year maximum.
The same Gallup study also showed that a clear majority of the Finnish population did not think foreigners coming to Finland had the right to the same social and economic government benefits as Finnish citizens. Of all the Finnish political parties, the Finns Party is the only one with the same opinion as the majority of Finns as revealed by the study.
Recent Gallup polls by both ’Helsingin Sanomat (Finland’s largest newspaper)’ and the ’Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)’ show the Finns Party gaining support significantly – a similar result is shown by the daily newspaper of the agriculture industry. As the elections are now imminent, people begin to look and listen carefully to what the various parties are saying. And certainly the contradictory statements being made by the other parties and their extensive back pedalling are not being looked at favourably by the voters.