The Finnish Social Democratic Party, Party Congress in Lahti 3.-5.2.2017
Domestic Policy Declaration, adopted 5 February, 2017
Our Common Finland
Independent Finland is celebrating its 100th anniversary and Finnish democracy will soon be more than 110 years old. The Social Democrats strengthen parliamentary and representative decision-making, which is based on universal and equal suffrage, residents’ strong possibility to influence matters on the municipal level, as well as democratic institutions instead of autocracy. Now this model is at risk. The party congress’s concern for municipal democracy and equal services is real.
As a result of the Government´s value choices inequality has increased. Social welfare and health care services will be forced to incorporate and the welfare state will be turned into the playground of corporations and the market. Tax money will flow out from Finland. The Nordic welfare state and representative democracy are at risk. We want to stop this development.
Economic growth, employment and the welfare state form a solid unity. The globalization of the economy and technological development as well as climate change and environmental problems change the world at an accelerating pace. The welfare state and its values are the basis for the challenges today and in the future. Our strong social capital and know-how as well as our tradition which lean on the power of agreements will continue to be the cornerstones on which the social democrats want to develop modern Finland.
One has to be able to earn a living wage regardless of the place of residence. We cannot afford to increased unemployment. Now we have to actively create new jobs and take care of the unemployed citizens with the help of adequate support measures and the possibility of retraining. The party congress does not approve of the Sipilä Government´s plans concerning the forced incorporation of employment services.
Everyone must be offered equal rights to training and education. Raising the level of skills and increasing educational equality will create an opportunity, which will lead to socially and environmentally sustainable growth. Finland’s success is built on education, culture, skills and innovations. Education and research have to be provided with significant additional investments.
Everyone shall have the right to receive public social welfare and health care services. Social welfare and healthcare reform (Sote) has to ensure high-quality services at the right time regardless of one´s ability to pay. Social welfare and health care services must be organized and produced primarily by the public sector. Tax assets must be used for the common good.
The basis of reforming social security has to be well-being, justice and humanity. The increasing poverty of families with children and pensioners has to be stopped. The SDP will present its own model for the development of social security.
The ambiguity and bureaucracy of the current system as well as welfare traps and overlapping benefits make the supporting network unworkable. To correct these problems and avoid the pitfalls of basic income, the current system has to be developed on a long-term basis in the direction of a general security model, which preserves the principle of remunerativeness and the justification for need and cause.
Populism has spread widely into political debate and lies have become the new truth. Populist promises that are not even supposed to be kept, undermine the citizens’ confidence in the democratic system. With the help of images of threats and distorted facts, people are set against each other. Politics must be based on facts and working together.
In addition to electing municipal decision-makers, the municipal elections this spring are exceptionally and chiefly concerned about which direction Finland is being steered. You have two very different alternatives to choose from: the right-wing Government´s private Finland or the SDP´s common Finland.