Finnish Government Survives Confidence Vote in Parliament

(Bloomberg) -- Finland’s government survived a confidence vote in parliament over its labor policies.

Lawmakers in Helsinki voted 101 to 73 to back the government in its bid to make it easier to fire workers in companies employing less than 10 staff. Absent from the vote were 17 lawmakers and eight abstained.

While most confidence votes in Finland are initiated by the opposition, this motion had been brought in front of the parliament by Prime Minister Juha Sipila’s government, knowing it would trigger a vote.

The cabinet is attempting to quell widespread criticism from labor unions who fear that easier dismissal of employees in small enterprises could be later spread to bigger companies. The government said its aim is to increase flexibility in the labor market to boost the employment rate further from the current about 72 percent level and reduce the burden on public finances.

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