Social Democrats' summer meeting

Earlier this week the Social Democratic Party gathered for a party conference. The main thing to take away from the event is that they're very critical of the 2008 draft budget.

Eero Heinäluoma, the chairman of Finland's Social Democratic party, said Tuesday that the draft budget penned by Jyrki Katainen (cons), the finance minister, would widen inequality and undermine the prerequisites for growth.

Speaking at the opposition party's summer meeting in Hämeenlinna, Mr Heinäluoma added Mr Katainen's proposal to raise taxes and charges would be a heavy blow to groups like the unemployed and those on employment pension.

The former finance minister also faulted his successor's first draft budget, unveiled in full on Friday, of boosting inflation.

Heinäluoma claimed that on average taxes and service charges would go up by 200 euros per household. I have no idea about the veracity of that claim. It's funny that before the election the National Coalition Party and the Centre Party were arguing for tax breaks and the Social Democrats insisted that money should go toward improving services. Now the former are raising taxes and the latter is complaining about it.

Heinäluoma also mentioned (fi) the possibility of an interpellation if the government doesn't set aside money in the 2008 budget to improve pay equality. Left Alliance chairman Matti Korhonen said (fi) that his party is prepared to support such an interpellation - not that it has any chance of succeeding, mind you.

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