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Home NATIONALControversy over extra housing benefit of Defence Chief
Sun, 16 Feb, 2014 01:20:07 AM
FTimes-STT Report, February 16
File picture of the chief of defense force General Ari Puheloinen. Photo Lehtikuva.
Defence chief Gen Ari Puheloinen getting extra housing benefits has raised questions among various quarters, according to Finnish language newspaper Aamulehti.
The army boss reportedly received a higher amount of housing benefit than was stipulated by the Ministry of Defence, said the report.
The amount of housing benefit should not exceed 35% of the total rent, according to the housing guidelines of the ministry.
It was also reported that the commander received more than 50% of the rent as housing benefit. 
According to the newspaper, the rent for Puheloinen’s 145 square meter apartment is €3,000. After deducting benefits, the commander reportedly paid €1,774 in rent.
“The Ministry of Defence for some reason has found it necessary to deviate from its guidelines,” said Max Arhippainen, head of communication.
Ari Salminen, renowned professor of Public Administration, on Saturday said the guidelines regarding payment of benefits should be strictly complied with.
Professor Salminen argued that exception in the conformity to guidelines would require sound justification and must withstand public review.
Minister of Defence Carl Haglund is expected to comment on the issue on Monday.
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