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Left Alliance wants more funds earmarked for children and youth

Centre Party leader Annika Saarikko has threatened to leave the government if coalition partners try to exceed next year's budget.

Li Andersson, leader of the Left Alliance. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Left Alliance chair Li Andersson on Sunday said her party was demanding more resources for children and youth services that have suffered during the pandemic.

"The Left Alliance will as part of the regular [budget] negotiation process next spring propose more funding for children and youth services," Andersson said at a Left Alliance party congress in Helsinki on Sunday.

This statement referred to Centre Party chair Annika Saarikko's austerity comments at her own party gathering in Rovaniemi on Saturday.

"Our generation grew up during the 1990s recession," Andersson said, clapping back at Saarikko's remarks that those in office now have been used to cheap money afforded by low interest rates their entire adult lives.

"Temporary crisis funding ends next year. The responsibility for the future of our children and youth can't solely rest with the Left Alliance or the Education Minister. A government that has pledged to conduct child-friendly policies can't fail on its promises," she said.

On Saturday Saarikko, who also serves as Finance Minister, said the Centre Party would leave the government if its coalition partners attempt to exceed the agreed budget framework.

The budget framework establishes agreed spending limits for each budgetary year, which the current government has exceeded during this term of office as extra spending helped the nation deal with the Covid crisis. Budget framework negotiations scheduled for next spring will decide how the government will make savings of 370 million euros.