2020 wasn’t the greatest of years for anyone in Europe. But then, it wasn’t any great for anyone around the world, isn’t it? Thanks to the COVID pandemic setting in, there were massive financial repercussions, which have led to such miserable times that while on the one hand there are companies that have quite simply derailed, there are others, including individuals who may never recover in the near future.
But in countries with a strong system of social security, things were perhaps a tad bit better. Much like how during a violent storm, even the tiniest sight such as a safe house or a resting hub gives one the confidence that all’s not lost and that, things could’ve been even more terrible had that not been there offers respite amid durress.
And speaking of countries that did, as a matter of fact, provide social security, the name of Finland cannot be avoided or ignored under any circumstance, where Kela, its social insurance institution is concerned.
During one of the most difficult times for much of Europe, with businesses shutting down and all financial activities coming to a standstill or halt, Finland’s Kela was up to the task of extending financial support to much of the Scandinavian country’s population.
No fewer than 80 percent of the country’s population was at the receiving end of Kela’s financial assistance, the important government body doing more than just its bit to cater to the country’s model of Universal Welfare State.
And what’s rather interesting and positive in equal measure is that the (north of) 80 percent of the country’s population that received benefits such as the ones concerned to matters of the health, actually boils down to 4.4 million Finns.
That’s the number of people who were, perhaps, to put it rightly, cared for by virtue of the country following the famous Nordic model of the welfare state.
Here is more information published as per inputs on the story reported on The Helsinki Times:
The figure first came to light when the Managing Director of the Finnish Centre for Pensions (Eläketurvakeskus) Mikko Kautto criticised the country’s current social welfare model in an interview with the paper earlier this month.
Kautto claims that Finland has become “a country of transfer payments,” and asserts that increasing expenditure could threaten its status as a welfare state. However, Minna van Gerven, professor of social and public policy at the University of Helsinki, states that the opposite is true.
According to van Gerven, Finland’s current system is based on the Nordic model of the universal welfare state, which offers comprehensive benefits to citizens from childhood to retirement. She believes that even up to 100 percent of the population could have received benefits from Kela in some form.
That said, what must also be duly noted is that at a time where any amount of economic security is so precious, the world constantly suffering from some financial distress or the other, to know that your country’s government has your back is an assurance like no other.
What might have happened, one wonders, if there would not have been any such kind of economic security? Is there a lesson for other nations too from vehicles operated by the Finnish government such as Kela?