Date: Apr 4th, 2014
Motion: THB that children’s benefits should be cut last, as the former are more important to society, i.e. future taxpayers, than senior citizens
Role: MP (opp.)
The Current Climate in Finland is such that the govt. should be able to save some budgetary money in cutting this or that. One of the items proposed on the agenda is child allowances, which are a uniquely Nordic phenomenon, a result from decades of work by tireless Nordic Social Democrats, who developed the benefit-transfer machine and had their fiscal power increased until recent times, when the economy, civil servants and bureaucrats have made it clear that we cannot go on with our business as usual.
We could go on financing our social-security benefits with borrowed, global money, but over time that would lead us towards a lowered credit rating by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch’s, and the rest, and therefore politicians have opted for taking the hard and rocky road out of the social-fiscal crisis.
What could be done about child allowances? My answer is simple: there is a way to both ensure that the neediest members of society will get them as usual, combined with the prospect that the wealthier parts of our social crust will cease to have them land onto their bank accounts. And now I’ll give you the means to the end.
Let us make child allowances to be applied for via social-welfare offices the way subsistence allowances (the so-called ”sossu” or ”fatta” money) are channeled today. This would mean that any family who would want that money needed to go humiliatingly through those same doors that were once reserved for the poorest and the most afflicted. This would ensure that the wealthy, who today may use all of that money towards the down payment for their child’s first proprietary student apartment, might opt out of the arrangement. Until now, it has been very easy for them to collect their due money. This would make it a notch harder. Many of the wealthy do not want to have anything to do with the unkempt and unwashed.
There is a a catch or a hitch, nevertheless. This arrangement would drastically raise fiscal spending for communities and municipalities, as they are the one footing the bill for subsistence allowances. Therefore, the govt. should direct all of its money earmarked for child allowances to communities instead of the Social Insurance Institution (= KELA). The rest they could return or use on something else.
What about the neediest? There is a catch here, too. They receive their net income in a manner where everything affects everything. If they get more of a certain benefit or money from a relative, they get less of another benefit. This is crazy. As they are poor and will apparently remain so until Hell freezes over, it is useless to try to flog them any more than they are already being put through. The truth must be that the poor use up all of their allotted money, in all circumstances, on basic necessities such as rents, food, clothes, fuel, booze, field trips and a smattering of domestic travelling. Only the well-off have the luxury or setting money aside to gather interest and be idle. All the worse off are in perpetual motion and their money revolves like that as well.
Let us be fair and adjust the system, for now, in this way. This way we can have our child-allowance cake and hide some of it as well. It’ll be a Birthday Bash. In the end, the donkey will get its tail and there will be fishing.
Arvio: Puheessa kangertelee se, että sen kirjoitusajankohdan jälkeen tilanne on muuttunut; KELA maksaa sossun aiemmin maksamat rahat. Lisäksi sen ehdottama esitys on epäilyttävä siinä mielessä, että rikkaat maksavat absoluuttisesti enemmän veroja kuin köyhät, vaikka ehkä relatiivisesti vähemmän, joten he lienevät moraalisesti oikeutettuja lapsilisiin. Kiinnostavaa on se tapa, millä puhe asettuu aloitteen ”puoliväliin”, niin että se sekä vastustaa että puolustaa kohdettaan (lapsien etuuksista leikkaamista) että taipuu talouden raameihin ja realiteetteihin, tai ainakin yrittää tehdä niin. Yleensä puheissa ei tehdä minkäänlaisia kompromisseja, puheiden liikkuessa puhtaiden abstraktioiden tasoilla, vaikka aidossa politiikassa lehmänkaupat ja kompromissit ovat hyvin tavallisia, syynä talouden realiteetit tai ristiriidat muiden puolueiden kanssa. Jos mainitsemiani vikoja ei olisi, tätä voisi pitää jopa parhaana kirjoittamani puheena.