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Finns Party MP would base immigration restrictions on nationality

According to a report by a nationalist Finns Party think tank, immigrants cost Finland at least 700 million euros per year. Finns Party MP Juho Eerola said he would consider restricting migration on the basis of nationality, based on calculations of a person’s anticipated value to Finland according to their nation of origin.

Suomen kielen oppitunti.
The think tank's research sought to calculate an immigrants prospective worth based on their nationality. Image: Yle

The Finns Party think tank Suomen Perusta conducted a study comparing the cost to the Finnish state of the ten largest ethnic groups, based on nationality. According to the report's calculations, immigrants cost Finland at least 700 million euros annually, with large differences in figures between national groups.

The report, presented on Thursday, showed Germans in the most favourable light, with Iraqi and Somalian immigrants allegedly incurring the most costs. According to the party’s think tank, German nationals come in on the plus side, netting the nation an average of 5,000 euros, while Somalian nationals reportedly cost the nation 8,000 euros annually.

Eerola says that research based on nationality provides clarity on whether or not immigration does good or harm.

"Previously  immigrants were bundled together," says Eerola. "Times are tough, we need more details on what kind of immigration benefits us and what harms us."

Eerola’s latest estimates reevaluate the cost of Somalian quota refugees and family reunification programmes.

Report at odds with other findings

The findings of the report are somewhat at odds with current trends in the immigration debate, which proffer a generally favourable view of immigration. The Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA), the Centre Party and the governing National Coalition (NCP) have all recently stressed the importance of attracting more immigrants to Finland.

EVA recently cited a need for immigration to double from its current level of 34,000 people per year. Meanwhile, the Centre Party and the NCP have also expounded a positive view of immigration, claiming that it is vital to boosting economic growth and caring for an aging population.

The study from True Finns’ think tank is based on research into the net cost of the working-age immigrants within the Finnish economy in 2011. The report claims its basis in figures from Statistics Finland, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Finnish Immigration Service's registration data.

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