May 19. 2024. 12:51

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Finland should triple net immigration, says think tank


Plagued with an ageing population and a low fertility rate, Finland would need three times more immigrants than projected to boost growth and improve public finances, according to ETLA Economic Research, an independent, private and non-profit economic research institute.

To increase tax revenues and secure the continuity of the welfare state, Finland is in need of a new labour force, the new report dubbed ”Immigration and the Adequacy of Labour Force-Evaluation of the Economic Effects”, also found.

If Finland’s yearly net migration levels are to remain at the current 15,000 people, the country’s population of working age will see a 20% drop by 2070, ETLA warned.

According to the think tank, Finland must increase its yearly net immigration to 44,000 people without delay and not wait for 2030, for which the current government has said it aims to raise work-based immigration to 50,000 people a year.

To plug the labour gap, Finland does not only need highly-skilled immigrants, as less-educated workers are also key to keeping basic services running, the report also reads.

The topic of immigration is set to be a major talking point in the run-up to April’s parliamentary elections.

Unlike other major parties, the nationalistic and populistic Finns Party, currently third in the polls with 18.4%, would only allow skilled workers from the EU to enter Finland.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)