Jussi Halla-aho, Chairperson, the Finns Party – Finns Party’s ‘Workmen’s Discussion Hour’, February 7, 2019

Welcome to the viewers and listeners around the country and to the media representatives here.

In a little over two months Finland will hold the election for the next four-year term of the Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta). It’s not difficult to realize elections are approaching when one looks at the frenetic statements coming from political parties.

There have now been horrific child rape and sexual abuse cases in the northern Finnish city of Oulu. Some parties have attempted to put forward some of the worst possible proposals as remedies. The hypocrisy is more than evident as, up to now, there was supposedly no problem! Moreover, the legislation in Finland is as strict as it can be – considering Finland’s international agreements now in place.

The prime minister of Finland, Juha Sipilä, has been trying to construct ‘alternative history’ with recent statements that change or re-phrase statements he made in Autumn, 2015 when he was inviting Iraqis to come stay in Finland.

[There have been recent revelations – covered heavily in the press – telling of very bad and unhealthy situations in some private elderly and small-children day-centres and care facilities. There are reports of some questionable practices of neglect and ‘money-making’ – even into the millions of Euros]

I’d like to point out that with respect to the recent brouhaha about poor care and conditions at a number of elderly and young children care-centres and facilities that the cost of raising the ratio of care personnel to ‘persons served’ to a quality level is LESS than the amount spent for societal integration of migrants!

Finland will continue to spend a larger amount this year on this completely inefficient integration of immigrants as well as a higher amount for living costs and housing support for them. Finland uses almost the same amount as previously for reception centre operations, although the crisis is supposedly over.

One present government minister has said recently that in politics – there are choices. The Finns Party agrees! The Finns Party believes that the right choice is for government expenditures going for the care and service of people that have spent their entire life working for, and building, the Finnish nation – and for their children – and NOT for the immigrant population!

It’s been well-known for a long time that the situation with care-centres and institutions for the elderly and young children has been neglected and is, indeed, very unsatisfactory in many cases. A ‘mixed message,’ as with immigration, is again being offered by many political parties. While it is surely important to have improved regulation – for example, the ratio of nurses to patients could be legislated and supervision and oversight of this field increased – the ‘elephant in the room’ is being put aside: there is simply a lack of funding! Inadequate national government contributions are made to the municipalities and thus the local governments are compelled to place great emphasis on minimizing the costs when issuing contracts.

One result of the necessity of lower costs combines this problem with that of exacerbating immigration problems – as staff costs are lowered by importing workers from outside Finland – for example, the Philippines.

The present government’s finance minister, Petteri Orpo, says that good care facilities and services should not be affected by funding but, unfortunately, he says, there is no money now!

The consequences of inadequate funding go further – these contractors are private firms whose primary interest is to maximize generation of profit – their goals do not seem to be to serve the society or the well-being of the people they are to serve. Those people are the elderly and young children who are seldom able to promote and defend their own interests.

The situation actually gets still worse because it is found that many of the people serving in the management and on the boards of these private companies are officials and ex-officials of political parties. The political ‘connections’ run across the entire political spectrum – from ‘left’ to ‘right.’ The phenomenon of ‘crony capitalism’ does come to mind – or?.

The Social Democrats are now making a big ‘hue and cry’ about this ‘storm’ regarding the care-centres. But do they realize and acknowledge that it was the last SDP government that reduced contributions to municipalities for this field of care-centres, etc. and that these decisions started this unwelcome ball to roll? Did the Social Democrats not understand that these cuts would result in a lower amount of funds that would result in a lower quality of care and thus hardship for many?

The Finns Party’s social and economic policy program for the next electoral term is now being introduced. These programs are intricately connected to one another and form an integrated whole.

The policies are rooted in three basic principles of the Finns Party:

1. It’s not possible to divide what does not exist. Therefore, it is irresponsible to make promises that cannot be kept. This principle should be kept during elections, as well.

2. The size of the ‘cake’ should be grown if one wants to divide and share. Work and entrepreneurship should not be taxed to excess – something it seems the ‘left’ aims to do. Instead, the tax base should be increased. Economic efforts should be profitable.

Climate change policy should not give way to hysteria. If not set with rational goals, ‘bad’ climate policy can be detrimental to the economy and the general well-being of the Finnish citizenry.

3. Priorities must be set with the well-being of Finland and the Finnish citizen in the forefront. Finland can only take care of its own underprivileged if it does not bring in additional disadvantaged people from the rest of the world.