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Friday’s papers: Incomes register security concerns, forced sterilisation and depressed workers

Security concerns about Finland's Incomes Register, Finland’s deaf seek compensation for decades of sterilisation, and depression stops people from working.

Äiti ja 1-vuotias vauva kommunikoivat viittomalla.
Image: Kimmo Hiltunen / Yle

Business daily Kauppalehti criticises Finland’s new centralised income register which pools salary and benefit information in real-time. The paper said certain loopholes in the system can allow individuals occupying company board roles to view the salary data of all employees in that organisation.

The Tax Administration, which was the prime motivator of the massive data repository, has repeatedly assured people that the information in the online register will be safe.

The Incomes Register will at first contain real-time wage and salary information provided by employers, or what is estimated to be the income data of 2.8 million people.

Eugenics and the deaf community

A group of MPs are calling on all political parties within parliament to pressure government into opening an investigation into rights abuses suffered by Finland’s deaf, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

Up until 1969 deaf couples needed special permission from the president to marry. Some deaf women were given an ultimatum - get sterilised or forget about marriage, according to Maija Koivisto, a teacher at the Finnish Folk High School for the Deaf.

The Finnish Association for the Deaf wants to start a process of national reconciliation for state abuses perpetrated against Finland’s deaf population. HBL suggests that such a move could culminate in compensation for victims, similar to damages paid by Finland to German and Hungarian children imprisoned in Finnish internment camps during the Continuation War (1941-1944).

Too depressed to work

Last year saw an upswing in residents applying for disability pensions, reports business magazine Talouselämä.

Pensions granted for mental health reasons grew in the under-40 segment. A third of all disability pensions were issued on mental health grounds, with depression being the most common mental illness triggering disability.

Between January and September 2018, the number of disability pensions granted by the state grew by some 7.4 percent over the same period in 2017.

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