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APN Podcast: Immigration deals and incentive traps

In this week's show we ask who won and who lost in the incoming government's deal on immigration.

All points north-logo and groceries on conveyor belt.
Image: Kalle Purhonen / Yle
Yle News

As government formation talks continue to unfold, it's becoming clear that Finland is likely to take a harder line on immigration.

Last week the Finns Party threatened to walk out of negotiations if the other three parties didn't accept its broad positions on climate and immigration. The Swedish People's Party (SPP) initially opposed immigration reforms, but eventually relented.

All Points North asks what kinds of changes are in store.

"There's talk about a kind of fast track citizenship for people who are earning more than 40,000 euros a year. So that might happen. But we still have to wait and see," Yle political journalist Hannu Tikkala told APN.

While the SPP is part of liberal groups in the European Parliament, and has a generally pro-immigration outlook, the Finns Party's allies internationally are often described as far-right movements.

Listen to the episode via this embedded player, on Yle Areena or via Spotify

Increasing employment is always on the agenda in Finnish government talks, and this time the parties are homing in on so-called 'incentive traps' that some groups say discourage low-paid work. The show explored whether Finland has a problem incentivizing people to work.

Social policy scholar Heikki Hiilamo said that in some cases, employers pay workers less as their income is supplemented by Kela in the form of partial unemployment benefits.

"So there are many people who actually don't win so much by working, but they're still working," he said, noting that the discussion has been blown out of proportion.

Join the conversation!

This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Zena Iovino. The sound engineer was Tuomas Vauhkonen.

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