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Opposition parties lay out alternative budget visions

The Finnish cabinet came under harsh criticism from the opposition party leaders in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon as the legislature debated the non-government parties' shadow budgets. Yle is broadcasting the proceedings live on TV1, so the Yle News 3:05 pm broadcast is pre-empted.

Eduskunta koolla 1. heinäkuuta 2016.
MPs are still meeting in a temporary facility during renovations at Parliament House. Image: Jarno Kuusinen / AOP

Finland's opposition parties have all published their own alternative plans for next year's state budget. The opposition groups are presenting these blueprints to the legislature, which will then discuss them.

Many MPs also commented on the US election, comparing its results to the domestic situation and speculating on its impact on European and global developments.

The Social Democrats – which is the country's most popular party if public opinion polls are to be believed – and the smaller Left Alliance are both calling for cuts to education to be rescinded while cutting taxes on inheritance and gift taxes and boosting corporate tax deductions.

The second largest opposition group, the Greens, meanwhile would do away with environmentally-harmful subsidies, lower tax-exempt kilometre allowances for work-related driving and raise dividend taxes.

The small Swedish People's Party would encourage mothers to work by cutting in half the time they are eligible for home care benefits and by adopting the so-called 6+6+6 paid family leave model. It is aimed at boosting fathers' responsibility for child care by earmarking six months' paid leave for each new mother, six for each father and another six to be divided as the family sees fit.

Another minor opposition bloc, the Christian Democrats would replace the sweets tax – which is being phased out at the beginning of next year due to an EU ruling – with a sugar tax based on products' added sugar content.

Yle is broadcasting the proceedings live on TV1 and the online service Areena until 4:20 pm. As a result, the Yle News 3:05 pm TV broadcast is pre-empted. Radio broadcasts go out as usual on Yle Mondo at 3:30 pm and Yle Radio 1 at 3:55 pm.

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