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Home NATIONALMinimum social benefits in Finland inadequate
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Thu, 12 Feb, 2015 12:42:44 AM
FTimes Report, Feb 12

The European Committee of Social Rights has determined that the minimum level of social security provisions in Finland is not enough.

The Committee on Wednesday issued its decision regarding the inadequacy of the minimum level of social security benefits in Finland, according to a press release of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

The Committee working under the remit of the Council of Europe has examined the individual benefits such as sick pay or labour market support in relation to the average income of a nation. 

In contrast, Finland has deemed its minimum provision to be adequate, owing to the coherent support package formed by Finnish social security benefits, social and healthcare services, and the payment caps placed on various kinds of healthcare services, said the release.

Furthermore, in its decision the Committee examined Finnish income support allowance solely on the basis of the basic contribution element and did not consider the other elements paid, almost without exception.

Examining the level of a specific benefit is not reasonable means of assessing its adequacy, especially as social security in Finland can potentially comprise, for example, labour market support, housing support, and income support.

Another factor for consideration is the payment cap placed on many public healthcare services and prescription drugs, which all serve to limit the costs imposed on healthcare service users to a relatively low level.

A collective complaint was submitted to the European Committee of Social Rights, on the basis of the revised European Social Charter, regarding the minimum level of social security benefits and social assistance in Finland.

The Committee's decision is to be addressed at the next Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, whereupon Finland will present its own perspective on the matter, said the release.

The Committee of Ministers is not able to change the content of the resolution.

Finland is nevertheless duty bound to report on the minimum level of social security provision to the Committee of Social Rights within the system of periodic reporting.

The European Social Charter is an international agreement intended to safeguard the application and protection of social rights in Europe.

The rights stated in the Charter must be guaranteed by all member states and afforded to all persons within their jurisdiction, without any prejudice or discrimination. 

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