Eloranta: Private and public jobs are not adversaries
It is unhelpful and biased to view public and private sector jobs as being somehow in conflict or competing with each other, says the JHL president Jarkko Eloranta. He finds, however, clear evidence of this negative adversarial attitude in a fresh report by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, called Industrial Competitiveness Approach.
The ministry report summarises: "Economic growth demands the work input of private sector workers be raised to a sufficient level in relation to the size of the population".
Eloranta stresses that it is damaging to undervalue public sector jobs and imagine they merely drain resources from the private sector. He supports the Ministry goal for better employment and strengthening the basis of industry. "But in the real world public sector jobs and employees are not an obstacle to this goal. Public services and public jobs have a positive effect on the economy and growth. The birth of jobs in various sectors is no zero-sum game."
According to Eloranta, the condition of the national economy will not be improved by privatising and tendering public services, as the Ministry suggests . "Tax payer money is needed to produce welfare in any event. Private services will not become cheaper for citizens, often the case turns out to be the opposite. Welfare policy should not be subordinated to business."
According to the Ministry, public sector financing is facing serious difficulties, as there are too few jobs in the private sector. This is not the only reason, Eloranta remarks. "We are now facing difficulties because the tax level has been lowered considerably in recent years. To finance the public sector, we need more resources, and renewing the capital gains tax could contribute much needed revenue to this end for example."