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Survey: Finns think they’re over-regulated

A new survey from a local government think tank has found a large majority of Finnish people think the country is suffering from a surfeit of rules and regulations.

Miehiä rakennustelineillä.
A majority of Finns told pollsters they thought the building trade was over-regulated. Image: Mika Kanerva / Yle

Some 76 percent of Finns think the country has too many unnecessary rules and regulations. That’s the headline finding from a survey for the Foundation for Municipal Development, a local government think tank.

The survey also found that 78 percent of Finns think that the existing rules and regulations are enforced too strictly. A majority thought that businesses, construction and home renovations were regulated too stringently, while around half thought that rules around shop opening times could be more flexible.

Regulation covering banks and consumer affairs, by contrast, were seen to be about right, with fewer than 15 percent of respondents saying those sectors were over-regulated. Likewise, just 27 percent of men and 15 percent of women thought that environmental regulations were too strict.

In terms of impact on their own lives, Finns are more evenly divided, with 47 percent saying that their own lives suffered under the weight of over-regulation. Some 42 percent claimed the opposite—that the current norms were well-suited to their lifestyle.

TNS Gallup interviewed some 1,010 people in December for the survey, which was commissioned by the Foundation for Municipal Development. The margin of error is +-3%.

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