Yle’s election analysis: Party leaders argue over Sote’s policy, immigration, taxation

Yle's election analysis: Party leaders argue over Sote's policy, immigration, taxation

Leaders of the three parties at the forefront of the polls met in a county council election debate hosted by Yle on Thursday night.

During the debate, the leaders of the two largest opposition parties Petteri Orpo National Coalition Party (NCP) and Riikka Purra Basic Finns – challenged the Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) over the current government for social and health care or sote, practices.

NCP chairman Orpo – whose party was at the forefront of the poll in last year’s municipal election and has been the country’s most popular party ever since – said his party is now ready to commit to reforming social, health and emergency services. a historic reform approved by parliament last June.

The NCP had strongly opposed the government model before the parliamentary vote, arguing that the proposal would not reduce costs or speed up access to care.

In Thursday night’s debate, each director was asked whether the reform would be able to maintain the level of social, health and emergency services in the future.

"It can be, if a sensible policy is followed," The orphan answered. "The fact is, however, that budgets are really tight. The current service system cannot be maintained without intelligent solutions. We must use all the resources at our disposal. The government model must be utilized even more for the benefit of the third sector and Finnish companies, so that people can access services faster."

"Unfortunately, I don’t think the level of service can be maintained," Purra, the chairman of the Basic Finns, said. "The aging of the population alone will ensure that it increases sote costs are required. Currently, our system is not working, and simply organizing it in a new way or providing some services privately and others publicly, unfortunately, does not fix the problem."

"My party presidents are painting a rather bleak picture of the future here," Marin replied. "SDP believes services will improve. Services are available on time. The services will work. Problems don’t grow and kerry, so they would cost more."

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The three leaders spoke to each other before the discussion.Silja Viitala / Yle

The biggest division between Finland’s three main parties became clear when the debate often shifted from county council election issues to broader discussions on national politics.

Each of the party leaders would also have expected next year’s parliamentary elections, when they are likely to compete with each other for the post of prime minister.

Purra, the chairman of basic Finns, talked about the harmful effects of immigration almost as much as social and health policy. He also said he believes the price of petrol and diesel will be an important issue in the provincial council elections.

Orpo and Marin were also at odds with current plans sote Orpo criticized the government model and added to his doubts about resolving key issues on a practical level.

In response to Orpo’s criticism, Marin mentioned that the government’s inclusion in a law guaranteeing round-the-clock care for the elderly is an example of how services are improving.

Marin also disagreed with Orpo’s prediction that a regional tax would be needed to fund it sote the reform would lead to an increase in taxes paid by the average citizen, saying the overall tax rate is unlikely to rise.

This week’s All Points North session heard from voters and experts on key issues ahead of next week’s poll. You can listen to the full podcast on the embedded player here, through Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple podcasts or on your regular podcast player using an RSS feed.

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Christian Democrats, Movement Now questions the reform

The model of the government’s challenging opposition parties was also evident on Wednesday night when Yle hosted a debate with the Christian Democrat chairman. Sari Essayah, Movement Now Director Harry Harkimo and the President and Minister of Justice of the Swedish People’s Party, Anna-Maja Henriksson.

During the debate, the chairman of the Christian Democrats, Essayah, noted the possibilities "democracy" how provincial councils are elected and formed.

"When electing the representatives of the Welfare Council, the majority of votes are cast in the city center. We find it strange that the model does not take into account the voices of smaller municipalities," Essayah said.

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Sari Essayah.
Christian Democrat leader Sari Essayah questioned whether people in smaller municipalities will be left unrepresented in newly formed welfare meetings.Silja Viitala / Yle

In Essayah’s view, those living in rural areas are not represented on provincial councils because voters in larger municipalities vote more for candidates in their own locality.

Movement Now director Harkimo, for his part, criticizes the number of rising provinces, ie welfare areas, in the vote. A total of 21 new regional assemblies are to be established, which Harkimo thought was far too much.

"There are too many constituencies here. For example, Uusimaa is divided into four, five parts. They are far too small areas" Harkimo said, adding that his party does not intend to launch a new reform of social and health services, but will gradually seek to expand regional cooperation.

In response, Henriksson pointed out that the transfer of responsibility to 21 councils is already a significant reduction from the more than 300 municipalities that have provided social, health and first aid services under the previous model.

Government parties are arguing over wage increases

Yle’s first provincial council election debate was held on Tuesday night and was attended by leaders of three governing parties; Minister of Economic Affairs Annika Saarikko Minister of Education of the Center Party Li Andersson member of the Left Alliance and interim leader of the Green League Iiris Suomela.

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Li Andersson, Annika Saarikko and Iiris Suomela visited Yle's studio before the start of the regional election exam in January.
Iiris Suomela (left), interim chairman of the Green League, Li Andersson (center), chairman of the Left Alliance, and Annika Saarikko, chairman of the Center Party (right), just before Tuesday evening’s debate.Silja Viitala / Yle

Although the party’s three leaders broadly agreed on many issues ahead of next week’s election, they disagreed on possible pay increases for health workers and the wider social services sector – a problem that could help solve "serious" labor shortages in the sector, but not decided by the regional councils.

"Without money, labor shortages will not be solved. It is our responsibility to pursue responsible economic policies, even when wage decisions are made during labor market debates." Suomela stated.

Minister of Finance Saarikko, for his part, wondered whether the council’s election debate was leaking into the nursing salary negotiations that had just begun.

In response, Andersson pointed out that the center of the archipelago was in power during the last round of negotiations.

"At the time, it did not bother to intervene in the labor market negotiations," Andersson said.

Source: The Nordic Page

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