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Friday’s papers: Cannabis legalisation, Finland's cheapest groceries and the end of tax mail

High and low earners favour cannabis decriminalisation, grocer price competition and the carbon cost of mail.

Nainen tutkii hyllyä ruokakaupassa.
Image: Hanna Othman / Yle

Last week Minister for Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen came out in favour of decriminalising cannabis use, but agricultural newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus reports that 60 percent of Finns do not support decriminalisation, citing a poll by Kantar TNS Agri that surveyed over 1,000 residents.

Rural dwellers took a stricter line on cannabis than urban residents. In the capital region a third would be open to legalisation.

Middle-class earners were the least in favour of decriminalisation, whereas people on the polar ends of the wage spectrum want to make cannabis legal.

Overall, men took a more favourable view of decriminalisation than women.

Competition in Finland's grocery market

German discount supermarket Lidl remains Finland’s cheapest grocer, finds a triannual survey commissioned by business daily Kauppalehti.

In September pollster Analyse2 examined the prices of 46 brand-name goods across 56 stores belonging to six chains in the country.

It was most expensive to shop at K-market, where a basket of popular items averaged 90.69 euros, as compared to 72.55 euros at no-frills Lidl, which carried the lowest prices among stores surveyed.

The study, however, found that Lidl’s low-cost advantage is narrowing, with Prisma outlets becoming very close competitors to Lidl.

The Finnish Grocery Trade Association reports that food prices rose 1.6 percent between January and September compared to the same period in 2018.

No more tax mail

Amid the national postal strike, Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet reports that state agencies want to stop sending hard mail altogether.

HBL reports that letters sent by Finland’s tax administration resulted in 1,500 tons of CO2 emissions last year.

Going digital would also save the taxpayer 15 million euros annually, according to the tax office.

To minimise the paper load, the tax administration and the Population Register Centre have launched a campaign to encourage people to use the messaging function in the suomi.fi web portal, a platform covering some 250 state agencies.

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