Now organized employers
make proposals to intensify fight against grey economy
Helsinki (17.01.2011 - Juhani Artto) The fight against the grey economy has
taken an important step forward with the new initiatives being proposed by
the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK. The powerful employer central
organisation wants to make tax identification numbers mandatory for all
persons working in the construction industry.
"Foreign workers would have to obtain their tax identification number from
the tax office before being allowed onto construction sites in Finland. Tax
identification numbers would allow the Finnish tax authorities to monitor
how long each foreign worker is staying in Finland. This would clarify
whether or not the person would have to pay taxes in Finland", EK says.
Trade union organizations have welcomed EK's initiative on the tax
identification number. Strong legislation is beneficial for both employees
and honest entrepreneurs, emphasizes Matti Harjuniemi, the President of the
85,000 rank and file member Finnish Construction Trade Union.
He believes that "completely naïve" attitudes towards the grey economy are
gradually losing ground. "Practically all construction workers and forced
entrepreneurs, coming for example from the Baltic countries, work without
any kind of social security and without any pension and unemployment
benefits", Harjuniemi says. "They receive anything from EUR5 to EUR10 per
hour in cash and invariably do not pay any income tax, to any state."