Östman EPP-kongressin aamiaistapahtumassa: ”Työn teon pitää aina kannattaa”
KD-eduskuntaryhmän puheenjohtaja Peter Östman osallistui EPP-kongressin yhteydessä pidettyyn Wilfrid Martens Centre for European studies -ajatushautomon aamiaiskeskusteluun työn murroksesta. Tilaisuuden otsikko oli ”The future of work in the age of intelligent machines”. Östman toi puheenvuorossaan esille mm. Suomessa todetun tarpeen sosiaaliturvajärjestelmän uudistamiselle. Hän kertoi KD:n esittäneen suomalaisista puolueista ensimmäisenä Britannian Universal Credit -mallin pohjalta luodusta esityksestä kannustavaksi perusturvaksi. Östman korosti, että työn tekemisen pitää olla aina kannattavaa.
Katkelmia Östmanin puheenvuorosta alla.
In Finland, there is a strong consensus that we need to reform our social security system due to its complexity and bureaucracy.
However, there seems to be no consensus between parties on how these reforms should be made. Some support the idea of a universal basic income, which is an unconditional benefit, but there is increasingly support for a social security system based on the universal credit model, which is a conditional benefit.
We Christian Democrats think that work creates well-being, and it should always be profitable to receive a job. Right now, there are situations where it isn’t profitable enough.
KD was the first to present our model for a new social security system, which takes influence from the British universal credit. The aim is to create a system that increases the profitability of work, while at the same time providing more security for unforeseen changes in life. Instead of having a jungle of social security benefits, there should be one single “general” social security benefit, which is easy to understand and apply for.
Reforming our social security would also reduce unnecessary regulation, and anyone seeking support would get help faster and it would be more personalized. According to the OECD preliminary calculations, the transition to universal credit type of benefit could at best reduce government spending.
As for the universal basic income, I do not see it as a viable option. As mentioned earlier, the Finnish Government launched its universal basic income trial last year, which gained a lot of international attention.
However, the trial has been criticized for not being well planned from the beginning. It should have had more resources for it to be able to produce a realistic outcome. Furthermore, it should have been extended to different groups such as small entrepreneurs or freelancers. Currently only a small group of unemployed citizens receives this unconditional basic income.
The universal basic income is challenging to finance. According to the OECD, the introduction of universal basic income could actually increase poverty. The OECD concludes that especially in countries of comprehensive social security, basic income is not an effective tool in the fight against poverty, because it does not target social benefits effectively enough.
Additionally, we would need to raise taxes and make other cuts on our social security for the basic income to be at a sufficient level.