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Social Security Committee launches debate on position statements describing problems to be addressed in the reform - draft working reports published

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 12.5.2021 10.02 | Published in English on 22.12.2021 at 18.20
Press release

A meeting of the Social Security Committee on 10 May 2021 considered all of the social security problem areas that it had identified.

The Social Security Committee and its subcommittees had compiled draft reports on problem areas in social security that now came before the Committee together. The problem reports are based on a list of problems collected from the Committee in summer 2020. Under the leadership of the Committee, the subcommittees have given concrete form to these problem areas during the autumn, winter and spring. The praesidium of the Social Security Committee, its subcommittees and their secretariats will accordingly review the interfaces and cross-cutting themes of the reports in summer and autumn 2021. The package will be harmonised. Processing of the reports by the Committee and its subcommittees will continue until the end of 2021.

"The draft reports are already publicly available throughout this period of preparation. Transparency is a key element of this preparatory work, as the aim is to implement the social security reform through a broad debate in society. that these are drafts, not completed reports.

The early stages of the Committee’s work have focused on problems in social security. Carefully formulated problem descriptions pave the way for discussing the need for change and solutions to that need. The problem reports are accordingly not the entire picture of social security. There are also many favourable aspects of our social security system that are worth preserving", Social Security Committee Chair Pasi Moisio says.

Topics discussed at the meeting of the Social Security Committee included the relationship between long and short-term changes, and their role in social security reform. The discussion also highlighted the relationship between legislative changes and lighter approaches to developing social security, such as streamlining application procedures and improving advisory services.
The Social Security Committee thanked the subcommittees, praesidium and secretariats for their work.

The draft social security problem reports

Issues highlighted in the problem report on the complexity of social security include the number of different benefits, resulting in multiple criteria for determining each benefit. The concepts of income and family, and the times of application and disbursement vary between benefits. Fragmentation of transaction services, difficulties in information flow, and simplification of implementation, especially through digitalisation, are also addressed. Simplified implementation may mean a simplified application process, for example.

The issues covered by the problem report on harmonising gainful employment and social security include changes in the world of work, entrepreneurship and social security, the incentive of the social security system, studying with financial aid for students, disability benefits and part-time work, and other incentive trap themes. The examination focuses on receiving social security benefits while enjoying wage and business income.

The problem report on security of last resort, basic social security and housing considers support for housing costs through housing benefits and income support, and the impacts of housing support. The report also discusses security of last resort as a supplement to and substitute for basic social security.

The issues addressed by the problem report on harmonising services and benefits include the differences in the purposes, objectives and operating logic of services and benefits. It also addresses the challenges identified in the social security system and in its processes and practices from the perspective of the individual and society.These include dysfunctional benefit and service pathways, and the mismatch between the goals and activities of individuals and organisations.

The choices and basic principles of social security apply to all social security problem areas. The work of the Committee collates them into a single area that forms the basis of the fifth social security report. This report describes the mandatory character of social security, the level of social security, its individual or family specificity, and its dependency on causes as key basic choices. In addition to these basic choices, the fifth report provides an overview of the evolution of Finnish social security, and of the basis of social security in terms of fundamental and human rights. The report also provides a brief overview of future demographic trends.

Problems to be solved in social security reform

The next stage in the work of the Social Security Committee is to select the key problems that the social security reform will seek to resolve. The Committee will issue a position statement on each of the problems that it has selected, outlining objectives and guidelines for resolving the problem. A structure for position statements drafted by the praesidium will serve as the basis for the work of the Committee. This draft summarises the main social security problems emerging from the problem reports. The Committee may also raise other issues in its position statements. Possible themes for additional position statements emerging from Committee discussions included financing of social security and the perspective of children.

The reports and position statements of the Social Security Committee will form the basis for an interim report to be completed by the end of the current Government term, i.e. the roadmap for comprehensive social security reform. The committee will begin implementing the roadmap in the next Government term.
A working meeting of the Social Security Committee on 24 May 2021 will continue processing the reports and position statements. The next ordinary meeting of the Committee will be held on 6 September 2021. The agenda for the first meeting of the autumn will include financing of social security.



Research Professor Pasi Moisio, Chair of the Social Security Committee, tel. +358 29 524 7228, [email protected]
Tuulia Nieminen, Communications Specialist, tel. +358 29 516 3635
Heli Backman, Director-General, tel. +358 29 516 3668
Liisa Siika-aho, Director, tel. +358 29 516 3085
With the exception of Pasi Moisio, e-mail addresses are in the format [email protected]

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