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Trade Union News from Finland

Eloranta concerned about municipalities' ability to provide services

JHL (26.09.2012 - Juhani Artto) Jarkko Eloranta, the President of the JHL, is deeply concerned about the  ability of municipalities to provide proper and adequate municipal services. Among municipal directors and leading officials there may even be a lack of willingness to provide them, he says in an interview with SAK's magazine Palkkatyöläinen.

"First services are outsourced, then financing for these stops. Soon the welfare society will come to end of the road", Eloranta warns.

Municipal services are often long processes where special skills of employees in various professions are needed. If parts of the process are outsourced, the entireties become more complex and control over the quality becomes more difficult and problematic.

According to Eloranta outsourcing and privatisation have led to wage dumping and the black economy has become more widespread. More control is needed also because of creeping corruption. The dispersion of services means that nobody is thinking about the total costs, he adds critically.

When ordinary people are asked their opinion as to what they really want, it is quite evident that they still have great faith in public services, Eloranta stresses. "But clearly, they do not trust private services or the municipalities' ability to control them."

Municipalities must remain as the market leaders in the production of public services, JHL's President concludes.