March 8, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – Finland’s government resigns on Friday, the head of the prime minister’s parliamentary group said Prime Minister Juha Sipila stepped down because of a failed health care reform.
Finland’s government resigns
In 2015, the prime minister made a promise to quit if his legislation to reform social, health care and the way Finland’s regions work, failed to get through parliament.
Finland’s government resigns comes after months of debate on the reform, known as ‘sote’ in Finnish. This has seen it mired in parliamentary committees and facing opposition not just within parliament, but from Finland’s biggest cities who were concerned about their own future funding if the government’s plans became law.
The President has accepted the government’s resignation and asked it to continue a caretaker basis until a new government has been appointed. The collapse of the three parties center-right coalition government, comprising Sipila’s Centre Party, the National Coalition Party, and Blue Reform, comes just six weeks before planned general elections. However, there is unlikely to be any change in the timetable of the elections which have been scheduled to take place on 14th April.
Antti Kaikkonen, the head of Sipila’s Centre Party’s parliamentary group has twitted that:
“Prime Minister Sipila will request his resignation because the healthcare reform cannot be accomplished during this government term.”
Key reform plans
The reform of health care and social services aimed to curb spiraling costs as Finland’s population ages rapidly. Under the plan, regional governments would take over the provision of care from local municipalities. The government said the reform could have kept the annual growth of social and health care costs between 2019 and 2029 to 0.9 percent instead of the current estimate of 2.4 percent. Opposition parties criticized the increased role envisaged for the private sector.
Sipila had previously said he would resign with his government if the reform failed. Sipila, a former businessman who became a millionaire in the IT field, has been prime minister since May 2015. He heads a coalition made up of his Centre Party, the conservative National Coalition and Blue Reform, another conservative grouping made up of defectors from the nationalist Finns Party.
The country is scheduled to hold general elections in mid-April and is due to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union in July.
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