Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen is not enthusiastic about fewer work hours in Finland. Writing in his Internet blog, Vanhanen says that in the interest of the domestic economy, there should be a shift in the opposite direction, in favour of increasing working hours. The Prime Minister says what Finland needs is a longer working life and an increase in controlled labour-based immigration.
He writes that an aging population will decrease the number of working age Finns by 200,000 and will push the number of over-65s up by half a million by the year 2025. As such the ratio of persons requiring elderly care will fall from the current one in four to one in 2.5 for persons over the age of 65.
"Maintaining the status quo is impossible in the current situation, as it would require two million new workers. This means that there is a formidable challenge ahead," writes Vanhanen.
The blog article was a written response to a YLE radio news report, in which researcher Tommi Uschanov proposed a 35-hour work week.