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Trade Union News from Finland

Eloranta: Provision of services by municipalities themselves is the bedrock of the welfare state

JHL (21.06.2012 - Juhani Artto) Provision of services by the municipalities is decisive for the sustainability of the welfare state, says Jarkko Eloranta, President of the JHL. He characterizes the municipalities' own service provision as "sustainable, stable and flexible". It is also good for employment and the entire economy, Eloranta adds.

"With the service provision of municipalities intact, private capital investors cannot create service monopolies who seek to make profits from basic services."

A recent study, made by Keva (former Local Government Pensions Institution), revealed that about half of the municipalities and joint municipal authorities have either already replaced some of their outsourced services with their own provision of services or are considering doing so. The most common reasons for this have been the costs and quality of services. Eloranta is keen to remind everyone that a survey, made last autumn among JHL's shop stewards, offered similar results.

According to Keva's study, large municipalities and joint municipal authorities - more so than smaller authorities - have replaced outsourced services in favour of services they themselves can provide. And this finding supports JHL's determination to strive for the formation of large and strong municipalities in the wake of radical municipal reform measures proposed by the coalition government led by Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen.