How about ending the nanny state, degrow government, get the foot off the private sector, lower taxes, create a flat tax of 10-12% across the board, and stop flooding yourself with people who will not assimilate into the host society?
Immigrants into entrepreneurs
Most papers also cover a big announcement by the government yesterday of its new carrot and stick approach to turning unemployed and immigrants into starting up own businesses. Under the package, unveiled by Finns Party employment minister Jari Lindström, there will be more support for small business owners and companies hiring unemployed people. On the other hand, the government will tighten up the terms of unemployment benefit.
Helsingin Sanomat leads with a detailed rundown of the measures, which economic affairs minister Olli Rehn hopes will create 110,000 new jobs. Unemployment benefit can be changed into start-up money for a jobless person who decides to set up on their own. There will be a 5k voucher available for a business to buy in outside expertise and innovation. The government will pay support to a self-employed person if they decide to hire someone else. And there will be a work-experience scheme for unemployed people to be able to show off their skills during a work placement, in the hope of it leading to a real contract.
A key part of the package is aimed towards getting immigrants into Finland’s job market. The government says it will begin fast-tracking residence permits for immigrants setting up small businesses, and allow them to also open a bank account at point of establishing a firm.
Foreign investors looking for a place to put some money will, the government hopes, be tempted by the promise of a ’golden visa’ – a residence permit for anyone investing half a million euros or more into the country.
The ’stick’ part of the government’s plan is to toughen up the conditions for unemployment benefit, upping the pressure on jobless people to accept work that is further away or outside their experience or training. Currently someone can turn down work that doesn’t match their experience or training for the first three months of unemployment benefit. The measures suggest cutting this allowance entirely or shortening it by half. More details will be announced next Monday.
One ex-worker at games company Rovio, now unemployed, says she’s sceptical of how the government’s measures might work in practice. “Supporting entrepreneurs is a good thing but not if it cuts the money people are living on” she says. She’s wary that work experience placements will just be used by companies for free labour. But the owner of a startup whose workforce is already very international says he’s grateful the government wants to reward businesses for employing people from overseas.
Recommend a refugee
Meanwhile Hufvudstadsbladet carries a glowing front-page report on its own project – in conjunction with the Red Cross and other media agencies – to find voluntary work for asylum seekers through the ”Recommend a Refugee” website. Refugees can create their own profile and be matched up with people looking for some help. So far, 70 refugees have signed up, and 50 people given placements, the paper says, claiming that the project is gathering speed.
Ahmed Ali, for instance, has been working clearing a golf course in Evitskog. ”This does us good,” he tells the paper. ”Just sitting around waiting for our asylum decision is killing us,” he says.