Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini, party secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo and Matti Putkonen gave a press conference Friday where they claimed that “the cost of migration” and development aid totaled up to 2.7 billion euros.
Migrant Tales wrote that when these figures were drawn out of a PS hat, not one reporter at the press conference asked how they had arrived at such a figure after Slunga-Poutsalo claimed that migration costs the country annually 1-1.5 billion euros and development aid 1.2 billion euros.
Only one paper, however, tabloid Iltalehti, did some investigating and approached the PS with that all-important question: How? As expected, the source was Putkonen of the PS.
When approached by the Iltalehti reporter, Slunga-Poutsalo referred the reporter to a PS lobby group, Suomen Perusta, which said they weren’t the source of such claims.
Read full story (in Finnish) here.
Putkonen boasts being the source: “I claim that the figure [cost of migration] is 1-1.5 billion euros a year. I challenge the officials to tell me if I’m wrong or right.”
Putkonen added that the 1-1.5 billion euro figure comprised of matters such as travel expenses, housing, clothing, daily allowances or monthly welfare payments, interpreters, cost of civil servants, asylum centers and other expenses.
So the claim by the PS, which shouldn’t surprise us, is a bunch of malarkey.
In another story, Iltalehti cites official figures from the ministry of employment and the economy, which place costs at 203 million euros.
As can be seen, calculating cost is not a simple matter. How do you take into account those refugees that establish businesses in the future and create jobs?
Certainly if you are an anti-immigration party your goal is to inflate as much as possible costs, which is what the PS is doing.
One of the big problems in the claim by the PS is what it refers to as “the cost of migration.” Is Putkonen referring to the cost of refugees or the total cost of migration to Finland? How can “the cost of migration” be so high if the grand majority of migrants work, consume and pay taxes in this country?
A recent study by the OECD that revealed that migration had boosted growth in 2011 by 0.16% including pensions.
Let’s hope that national media challenges in its editorials the populist claim by the PS that aims to maintain a climate of suspicion against migrants in this country.
All it needs is a critical two-part question: How did you arrive at such a figure and what are your sources?
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.