Tekijä (17.01.2024 - Heikki Jokinen) The new Finnish right-wing Government’s austerity measures are designed to make life more difficult, in particular, for those who have become unemployed or being laid off temporarily. According to the Industrial Union research unit, people who find themselves in this predicament may lose thousands of euros a year.

To understand what these austerity measures mean, in real terms, the Union research unit calculated how the cuts would affect five different families. The fictional families are created to correspond to various typical real life situations.

For a majority of these families, the austerity measures would mean a weakening of their purchasing power, which could amount to hundreds of euros a month. Two families benefit from the tax cuts planned. Details concerning these calculations can be read, in Finnish, in this magazine.

Especially hard hit are those entitled to earnings-related unemployment benefits. Under the new legislation the benefit would begin go down after two months. Another group to suffer, in particular, are those living alone in the countryside or in the small communities where it is difficult to find a new job within a decent distance.

- So, the most vulnerable are the ones who are set to lose the most by the Government cuts. This means that even the smallest change in income or expenses might make the whole economy tilt, says Anu-Hanna Anttila, the chief of the Union research unit.

- In particular, families with only one breadwinner face the greatest risk and, in turn, this will affect the economy as a whole. These are single person families, single parents and families where one of the adults is unemployed or laid off temporarily.

As regards unemployment or temporary lay-offs, the cuts make a quick negative impact. People will need to seek basic social assistance.

- The Government measures benefit most those who enjoy a stable situation and moderate expenses. This means families with two salary earners with enough income, grown-up children and low housing expenses, Anttila says.