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Inequality focus of Left Alliance election campaign

The Left Alliance said the distribution of wealth in Finland will define its parliamentary election campaign.

Li Andersson
Li Andersson Image: Berislav Jurišić / Yle

Left Alliance Chair Li Andersson told Yle's Ykkösaamu programme on Saturday that wealth inequality, widening income gaps, and the provision of health and elder care services are at the top of people's minds.

"Finns are increasingly concerned about the growing disparity in society," Andersson said, adding that one in eight residents worry about inequality.

Nearly 654,000 Finnish residents are at risk of poverty, according to the most recent figures from Statistics Finland, which were released in December 2018. Meanwhile, a recent Poverty Watch Report by the European Anti-Poverty Network found that the number of households with no income at all in Finland has doubled since 2013 to nearly 50,000.

Andersson also told Yle that she doesn't believe a major social and healthcare overhaul known as "Sote" will happen during the few remaining months of the current government's term. The reform aims to transfer responsibility for health and social services from the country's 295 municipalities to 18 elected regional bodies.

The Left Alliance chair claimed the contested healthcare reform package could mean more costs than savings.

"The government can't back up its three-billion-euro cost saving claims," she told Yle.

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