Boring budget debate

The Parliament is debating the budget and YLE televised several hours worth of it yesterday. It wasn't pretty. The Finnish News Agency reports a small detail:

A fire alarm rang out in the middle of the preliminary budget debate. Paavo Arhinmäki (left) quipped that the alarm had been triggered because "so many election promises are being burned".

Good one, Paavo.

But really, there was extremely little that was newsworthy in the debate. Both sides are repeating things they've been saying ever since Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen presented the draft budget.

The opposition is still very invested in the idea that the National Coalition Party and party chair Katainen in particular have broken election promises, e.g. the one about improving nurses' pay. The problem with their case is that the government is in fact offering to give money to improve pay equality pretty much according to the scheme the Coalition outlined before the election.

Making the opposition's flailing all the more frustrating to watch is that the Coalition's scheme hasn't worked out well in practice. Alas, since the Social Democrats bought into it before the election, now they're apparently unwilling to offer a critique of the idea itself. (I'd elaborate, but I'm hoping to get another post out of the topic when the interpellation vote is held.)

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