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Finance Ministry official backs Danish model for fighting unemployment
Anne Brunila calls for considerable wage restraint in upcoming incomes talks
Anne Brunila, the top civil servant at the Ministry of Finance, feels that Finland’s employment situation could be improved considerably by adopting the Danish model for employment training.
In an interview with Helsingin Sanomat, Brunila notes that Denmark’s unemployment level went down when the link between training and unemployment compensation was broken.
Under the new system, it was no longer possible to extend payment of unemployment compensation by taking part in a course. Instead, employment education was modelled according to the needs of employers. Denmark now has one of Europe’s lowest unemployment rates.
Another key element of the Danish model was making it easier to sack employees. However, Brunila does not see a need to change those rules in Finland.
Brunila also called for "great wage restraint" in the upcoming incomes talks.
She is less than enthusiastic about a proposal promoted by the Centre Party aimed at encouraging employment in low-income professions by decreasing mandatory employers’ fees in those fields.
On the other hand, she feels that calls for an extension of the tax-deductibility of the costs of paid domestic help is worth considering.
Anne Brunila recently took over the leadership of the "Finland in the World Economy" group from Olli Rehn, who was chosen as Finland’s next European Commissioner.
In June the group proposed income tax cuts across the board, including a maximum marginal tax rate of 50%.
In her view, tax cuts for those with high incomes are justified, as they provide an incentive to train for well-paying jobs for skilled professionals.