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Home NATIONALControversy raised over child benefit cut
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Sat, 29 Mar, 2014 12:02:53 AM
Ruling parties hint further revision
FTimes-STT Report, March 29
 
File picture of Mother and one year old twins in child healthcare center. Photo – Lehtikuva.
The lawmakers of the alliance government have raised objections over the decision for cutting child benefit in the fiscal plan for 2015-2018.
 
The leaders of different ruling parties, who expressed disagreement over the move for cutting child benefit, also viewed that the government should revise the decision.
 
Earlier, the government in its fiscal adjustment and saving plan discussion decided to cut child benefits by EUR 110 million as a part of austerity package to face the country’s ongoing economic crisis.
 
The leaders of Vihreä liitto (Greens League), Suomen Kristillisdemokraatit (Christian democrats) on Friday expressed hope that the decision regarding the cut of child benefit could be revised.
 
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Päivi Räsänen, the chief of the Christian democrats, said the party was ready to cancel the decision regarding cuts of child benefits.
 
Räsänen, also the interior minister, already got support from the Christian democrats parliamentary group chairman Peter Östman, as the party leaders observed that the saving plan undermined middle-income earners.
 
The party observed that taxation of child benefits could be a better option.
 
The leaders of Green League preferred that the cuts on child benefit be carried out gradually, although they did not want the cancellation of the saving plan.
 
Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto, the head of the Greens parliamentary group, called on the government to think whether the cuts should be realised progressively.
 
The prime minister responded on Facebook to the call for the revision of child benefits cuts, saying the subject was not open but particular details would be specified between the government parties in spring.
 
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said the lawmakers of different ruling parties expressed opinion about the cut of child benefit and pointed out that Jouni Backman, the Social democrats parliamentary leader, agreed upon considering the model as a closed issue.
 
Photo – Str / Lehtikuva.
Many parliamentarians have also expressed their views calling for the revaluation of child benefits cuts decision by the government, including Pertti Hemmilä of the National Coalition Party, who has said the saving plan on child benefits cuts could as well be cancelled.
 
The government has agreed on the central government’s spending limits and the government’s fiscal plan for 2015-2018 with the view to strengthen the financial foundation of the welfare society and conditions for growth to ensure that public finances were sustainable.
 
The ruling parties’ leaders finalised the fiscal adjustment plan during a two-day negotiation on Monday and Tuesday.
 
One of the components of the six-party alliance government, Vasemmistoliito (Left Alliance), however, expressed its disagreement with the plan and announced to quit the government.
 
 
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