Parliamentary The Constitutional Law Committee decided at its meeting on Tuesday that it will still hear constitutional law experts this week about the social security cut proposals it is dealing with.
The committee is currently evaluating three bills that are central to the government’s cuts: housing benefit cuts, social security index freezes, and unemployment insurance cuts. They are included in next year’s budget.
All three of these bills are dealt with separately, even four demanded a member of the constitutional committee last week committee to combine the processing of the government’s benefit cut proposals. However, this proposal was defeated in the committee’s vote.
The committee’s activities have received strong criticism from the opposition.
The cuts are partly aimed at the same low-income households, which is why the committee wanted to clarify their combined effects from the perspective of basic and human rights.
“The matters are dealt with separately and statements are prepared separately, but a joint hearing on the bills will still be held on Thursday. Its focus is on joint effects”, chairman of the Constitutional Law Committee Heikki Vestman (cook) says.
According to him, all the experts consulted by the Constitutional Law Committee so far have been sent a letter from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in connection with the consultation request. memo made on the combined effects of austerity laws on households.
Committee has completed the draft statement on housing benefit cuts, and its decisive consideration will be on Thursday. The proposal in question cuts 385 million euros annually from the housing allowance, but the resulting increase in living expenses means that the cut saves public expenditures by around 308 million euros.
The processing of other social security cuts on the committee’s table continues. In addition to housing allowance, the committee also gives its opinion on the freezing of social security index changes and cuts in unemployment insurance.
Freezing the indices means that social security expenditures are not increased in line with the rise in the cost of living, which takes away their purchasing power. There will be no index revision in the years 2024–2027.
Not making revisions will reduce benefit expenses by 239 million euros next year and 549 million euros in 2027. Index freezes will also increase living expenses, like cuts in housing allowance.
According to the government’s estimate, the reductions in unemployment security will improve the public finances by around 250 million euros net. The government also estimates that the reform will improve employment by around 20,000 people.