I don't agree with NCP’s view of market economy, says Halla-aho

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, posed for a photograph while attending the annual public debate forum, Suomi Areena, in Pori on 10 July, 2017.

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has rejected the persistent suggestions that his economic policy preferences are largely in line with those of the National Coalition Party.

His economic policy preferences have been regularly overshadowed by his hard-line comments on immigration, but he has now clarified that he is not a supporter of the kind of market economy pursued by the National Coalition.

“I can’t say I agree with the government on the social and health care reform or with the National Coalition’s view of the market economy, which seems to fundamentally be about moving public funds to private operators. This isn’t the kind of market economy I support,” he stated.

Finland, he said, must invest in education if it is intent on succeeding in the global markets.

“The whole world is opening up to competition. This is a major trend that no country will be able to avoid. Productive work is moving to places where it’s more profitable. At one point it was moving to Eastern Europe, now to Asia and in the future maybe somewhere else. The situation is constantly changing,” told Halla-aho.

The focus of global competition will, as a result, shift increasingly to products and services with high added value, he predicted. “This dictates that we must have a high-quality education system. That’s what we should invest in in Finland.”

Halla-aho has also clarified his recent controversial remarks about unemployment and social security benefits.

“When you’re talking about using public funds, you should be able to prioritise the functions of the society. The most fundamental functions are guaranteeing internal and external security. That’s the state’s core responsibility towards its citizens,” he said. “After that you fund everything else with whatever you have left in the purse. Social security benefits fall into this category.”

Halla-aho described unemployment and social security benefits as “luxury functions of the society” in an interview with Iltalehti in March.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva

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