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Home NATIONALMajority mayors see no success in elderly care cut: Survey Report
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Mon, 16 Dec, 2013 03:51:48 AM
FTimes-STT Report, December 16
File picture of elderly person. Photo - Lehtikuva.
The mayors of most of the municipalities in the country did not believe that the government’s decision of cutting EUR 300 million from the elderly care expenditure would be a successful measure, according to a survey conducted by MTV news.
The survey results, based on interviews with about 200 mayors of different municipalities, said 74% of the respondents viewed the initiative as ineffective.
The report also said the majority of the mayors considered the two billion euros saving target by the government in three years as realistic, but they termed the timeframe as too tight.
The survey also said 22% of the mayors considered that it would be realistic for the municipalities to save one billion euro by discharging own obligations and duties.
On the other hand 18% of the mayors considered it realistic to save a billion euros through tax increases and an increase in productivity.
The parliament on December 13 approved the structural reform structure which included the cutting of EUR 300 million from elderly care services. 
The treasury bench voted together uniformly supporting the structural reform proposal, but the opposition lawmakers expressed lack of confidence in the government proposal on reforms.
Photo - Lehtikuva.
Earlier, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and Minister of Health and Social Services Susanna Huovinen defended the government’s structural reform package for reducing elderly care services, saying it would ensure the services for elderly people at home, instead of elderly care centres.
Huovinen said shifting institutional care services to home-care services for the elderly people would help the country’s economy.
The prime minister previously stated that the government needed to prepare new decisions by next year so as to achieve the goals of the restructuring package.
The six-party alliance government on November 29 announced the structural reform package, curtailing budget from various sectors including the elderly care services.
The government expressed hopes that the tight structural reform package – prepared by reducing allocations for the elderly services and regional library network, and hiking childcare fees – would help the country face the tough economic situation.
The reforms, including issues like work leave, will continue together with reforms in the labour market organisation and the measures will lead to more strict terms and conditions.
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