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Wednesday, 20 October, 2021
Home NATIONALOppositions slam ruling parties for hurting pensioners
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Thu, 22 Oct, 2015 12:06:21 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 22
 
SDP leader Antti Lindtman spoke at the plenary session in parliament on Wednesday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
The main opposition in parliament Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland) on Wednesday criticised the ruling parties, particularly the Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party), on the status of the pensioners.
 
Speaking on an interpellation motion in parliament, SDP parliamentary group Chairman Antti Lindtman raised the issue referring to the remarks of Finns Party Chair Timo Soini in January before the polls.
 
According to Lindtman, Soini said at that time that the income of people living on approximately a thousand euros “cannot, must not and cannot be afforded to be cut.”
Other opposition parties also joined the SDP leader and criticised the Finns Party.
 
Vihereä liitto (Green League) lawmaker Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto said Finns Party claims it serves the interests of the low income earners; however, its decisions speak a completely different language.
 
Lindtman also raised the issue of the 200 million euro reduction of car tax. Finns Party parliamentary group Chair Sampo Terho said that increase of 100 million euro car tax and the new 50 million euro boat tax almost patch up the car tax reduction.
 
The issue of the housing allowance of the pensioners was also brought before parliament. The government has set a ceiling in which a pensioner cannot lose more than 60 euros a month through which the housing allowance for pensioners is combined with the general housing allowance.
 
Green League lawmaker Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto in parliament on Wednesday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Social Affairs and Health Minister Hanna Mäntylä admitted that the change will reduce the support for around 70 per cent of the people who receive the support.
 
At the same time, the government will be raising the guaranteed pension and will exempt low-income pensioners from the national broadcaster Yle tax.
 
Alanko-Kahiluoto, the first signatory to the interpellation ordered from the parliament information, estimates of the effects of the cuts on the income of the pensioners. According to the evaluation, cuts to the housing benefits and freezing of pensioners indices will render 27,000 elderly people below the poverty line.
 
“It’s heartless, cruel to cut from people who are already living from hand to mouth,” remarked Alanko-Kahiluoto.
 
The voting on the interpellation will take place on Friday.
 
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