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Home NATIONALOpposition to challenge fiscal plan to cut child benefits
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Sun, 30 Mar, 2014 12:17:43 AM
Increase of tax on tobacco suggested upholding child allowances
FTimes-STT Report, March 30
 
Perussuomalaiset Chairman Timo Soini spoke in the party council held in Helsinki on Saturday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Opposition parties in parliament have vowed to challenge the government decision to cut child benefit in the fiscal plan for 2015-2018.
 
Expressing their dissent, leaders of main opposition Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party) and the Keskusta (Centre Party) announced that they would challenge the move in the House.
 
Perussuomalaiset leaders discussed the issue at the party council held in Helsinki on Saturday. The party is also likely to discuss the issue with Suomen Keskusta.
 
Kimmo Tiilikainen, chairman of the parliamentary group of Keskusta, confirmed that his party was ready to cooperate with the Finns.
 
He said the government did not need to cut child benefit if it gave up its plans for extending age of compulsory schooling and forced quota for home care support.
 
File picture of Keskusta Chairman Juha Sipilä. Photo – Lehtikuva.
In an interview with the Yle TV morning breakfast programme, Keskusta chief Juha Sipilä said there were alternatives, adding that the plan to increase school-leaving age should have been dropped.
 
He also suggested increasing tobacco tax so that child allowances remained unharmed.
 
The Keskusta leader also said his party would revise the government’s child benefit cuts, if it was voted to power.
 
Meanwhile, the Vasemmistoliito (Left Allaince), which has already announced resigning from the government following disagreement over the fiscal plan, is yet to decide its position regarding the child benefit issue.
 
The council of Finns party in Helsinki on Saturday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Annika Lapintie, head of Vasemmistoliito parliamentary group, said the party did not take a position on whether the leftists would take part in the interpellation.
 
The Left Alliance proposed increase in solidarity tax, reduction of business subsidies and returns on property tax instead of cuts on child benefits.
 
On Friday, ruling alliance lawmakers objected with the decision to cut child benefits.
 
The government in its recent talks on fiscal plans decided to cut child benefit by €110m as a part of the austerity measures aimed at tackling the raging economic crisis.
 
 
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