Complaint to the Constitutional Committee 2017

The enclosed complaint to the Constitutional Affairs Committee and later to the Chancellor of Justice, also brought answers from both (copies after the complaint). They shows that, in practice, legislation built by Members of Parliament precludes the possibility of requiring errors in legislation to be corrected. Because in Finland is not a Constitutional Court, mistakes remains uncorrected and cause damage to society. And this has happened for decades.


                         COMPLAINT

       The Constitutional Law Committee

                           Complaint Subject:
                      DECADES CONTINUED
                       UNCONSTITUTIONAL
                        LEGISLATIVE WORK

                             Complainant:
                          Reijo Lahdenperä
                          At Törmä 2.2.2017

                               ANNEX:
                 Writing in Iltalehti 31.3.2005



INTRODUCTORY

At the end part of the Ombudsman’s the Complaint Guideline is worded as follows:
”In many cases, before filing a complaint, it is a good idea to contact the authority that you believe has acted unlawfully. This can resolve the issue quickly.”

The content of the complaint is such that it should be dealt by the Constitutional Court. But we don’t have one.  I have already told negative effects of the Legislation wholeness over the years to more than one Member of Parliament. Starting in 1987. Then in 2013 to all Member of Parliament with several messages. No effect. The next highest institution overseeing the constitutionality of legislation is the Constitutional Law Committee. So, according to the Ombudsman’s draft proposal, I will submit this complaint to the Constitutional Law Committee, within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution.

The main content of this complaint is:

– Democracy represented by political parties has undermined local government. The residents of the municipalities do not have an equal negotiating position when it comes to negotiating benefits and obligations. The same parties that decide on municipal laws at the national level also sit on councils as representatives of residents.

– Pension insurance premiums have been and are being collected all over the country, but they are invested in larger companies, growth centers, their land and real estate property, and abroad.

– The legislative formed by wholeness of framework that governs business, gives the advantage to be successful, even enriched, by machines, equipment and information technology. But it offers little opportunity for labor-intensive businesses. Like handmade furniture. (This kind of development is surprising, especially in a country where has been talked so much to further processing of wood!)

Taken together, this means that, despite the state’s share, cash flows from sparsely populated areas to growth centers.

The main problems created by the legislative work and their conflict with the Constitution.

THE PARTY DISCIPLINE OVERCOMES CONSTITUTION Article 29

The subjugation of a Member of Parliament to party discipline is something that has been a topic of debate for decades. Nevertheless, it has not changed in practice. This is also one of the reasons why the advantages of municipalities are less important than the interest of the state. State finances are often managed at the expense of the municipalities. Residents of sparsely populated municipalities, in particular, have become a source of cost for the expansion of growth centers, their well-being and the creation of new jobs. Also abroad!

QUESTIONABLE MUNICIPAL AUTONOMY
 
From the municipal areas are collected money by various legal bases, of which only to some of them, the municipalities have taxing power or influence. In addition, for the municipalities are paid a state subsidy for basic services. There is negotiation between the municipalities and the state about what the municipalities are allowed to tax and how much the state receives. The final legislative work is done by the Members of Parliament.

According to Article 121 of the Constitution, municipal administration is based on the autonomy of the inhabitants. How can this be achieved when the same parties sit on both sides of the negotiating table when negotiating municipal interests and responsibilities? At worst, the same Member of Parliament who is on the side of the state deciding on the content of the municipal law is approving it as a representative of a local municipality.

PENSION INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND PENSION RESERVE

Every employer and partly employee is obliged to pay a pension insurance contribution. At present, the combined reserves of all Finnish pension companies are just over EUR 180 billion. Over one hundred billion of it has been invested to abroad! Its amount has grown steadily over the years. (And the state debt as a shadow behind it.)

In general, municipalities are the largest employers in their communities. The money for their salaries is collected through taxes and thus also for pension payments. The collection of pension contributions is administered by KEVA, the municipal pension insurer. It manages the pension coverage of the municipalities, the state, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and Kela. KEVA is Finland’s largest pension institution. It has a reserve of some € 41 billion, of which about 80% is invested to abroad. According to the news, even to tax havens!


In practice, pension contributions are collected from throughout the country, but are invested in larger companies, growth centers and abroad. This is how has tried to fulfill the statutory yield requirements for pension assets. In addition, pension companies must not take too much risk by investing large sums in small investment objects. (Like Finland?) Here too, the legislature has not thought about how much damage this will cause.

The flow of pension funds away from the countryside and from smaller towns has been a biggest single contributor to job losses, especially in sparsely populated municipalities. Indeed, investing in growth centers is one of the main reasons for migration. In addition, due to investing abroad, it has also had the effect of reducing the number of jobs throughout Finland.

Achieved development is not equitable as is the meaning of Constitution Articles 6, 15, 22 and 121.

VAT (value-added tax)

VAT is collected on all sales revenue from all over Finland. Except for individuals and a few tax-free sales objects. It is collected in addition to the value of the product or service. That is, the price increase between the purchase price and the resale price. Regardless of whether it was produced by man or by machines. In addition, for VAT purposes, machinery, equipment and automation are deductible purchases. The VAT they contain may be deducted and / or refunded by the State. In the case of an employee, such a deduction cannot be made. This means that it is cheaper for companies to acquire a technical gadget than to hire an employee.

This trend in legislation began to reduce the number of jobs in the craft sector as early as the 60’s. At the extreme end of its development is now the Technology Industry. For example, when a company develops a computer program (such as a game), from its development work is paid for by employee pensions and other related expenses. But when a computer sells that program 24/7, there is little else to gain than profit taxes of company. And of course, all investments bring VAT refunds. Not to mention the grants that this industry in particular currently receives.

In other words, the legislation for business also undermines labor-intensive business. It is in violation of Articles 6, 15 and 22 of the Constitution. In fact, when the cause of the problems is sought through structural change, it is in fact the legislation of state that is the biggest source of it. This set of problems caused by the state itself must also be considered as a major factor in the financial problems of the municipalities. It is in conflict with the constitutional rights of municipalities and their residents. Article 121

ELECTRICITY MARKET LAW

The Electricity Market Law separated the sale and distribution of electricity. At the same time, from municipal electricity companies it deprived the profit they had previously received from the sale of electricity. Also brought other inconvenience. It increased the liability of distribution companies for possible power outages. In other words, the law reduced the profitability of distribution companies, but increased the responsibility for building storm sure power lines. At the same time, it reduced the amount of money left in the municipal area. It shifted to electricity brokers.. larger growth centers and abroad. Loss of revenue and increased liability have also had an impact on the sale of electricity networks to foreign ownership. It has already proved to be a factor of increasing the price of electricity distribution.

At least this can be interpreted as legislative work against municipal self-government law. Article 121

REMOTELY READABLE ELECTRIC METERS


The purpose of the law was to make it easier for the consumer to monitor the consumption of electricity and thus reduce the consumption of total electricity. So, bring savings to the consumer as well. Meters did cost to consumers EUR 800 million. It is already known that their life span is considerably shorter than the old discarded electricity meters. They should all be renewed. Thus, to consumers have to pay a new tranche of 800 million. Also, since almost everyone’s income is roughly the same every month, high electricity bills in the winter season have caused to many people difficulty paying. In addition, many meter readers were left without work.

Although the purpose of the law was to lower the price of electricity, its greatest impact is likely to be the transfer of capital from peripheral municipalities to growth centers and abroad! Not to mention that this kind of forced cost legislation cuts the purchasing power that is so badly needed by all corporate sectors.


90’s BANK SUPPORT

There is a commonly used model in the financial markets where the collateral / pledge of a loan is transferred to the payer. If the borrower pays, the pledge will be released upon request. If the loan is paid by a third party, the pledges are transferred to that party for the security of loan.

Banking aid in the 90’s was based on individual problem loans with rates. However, at the same time, the State did not transfer collateral and pledges of the loans to itself. Failure to did this, made possible to the banks to do actions which proved to be brazen. Even loans that were not under threat of debt collection, were made redundant!
Even worse consequences caused just it that the collateral remained within the banks. Recovery of loans from which the bank had already received all the money was continued. From debtors as well as guarantors. When the pledged properties were realized after a few years, it was not uncommon for a bank to charge the full purchase price in default interest. So the recovery of the original loan continued.

Placing banks by law multiple higher than the debtor has been a serious offense against Articles 6, 15, 21 and 22 of the Constitution.

The damage caused by bank support can hardly ever be compensated for. No suicides of loved ones, loss of property, forced displacement or even family breakup. The least that perpetrators and parties could do would be a public apology.


SUMMARY

So we have 180 billion pension funds, of which over half are invested abroad. And some politicians are marketing Finland’s opportunities to the world, trying to attract foreign investors here. Then they will be excited, smiling with shining teeth and in hands a big amount of grant money if someone comes in and invests a few hundred million or nearly a billion!

Giving at the same time providing legal benefits to foreign companies, domestic large-scale industries, technology industries, and the export industry in general, but also by supporting the construction of growth centers for transport, etc. With capital that have collected from all over the country! This has led to the death of traditional and, above all, craft-based industries, and the emergence of new industries for which no workers can be found. Therefore, there is a need to increase education. Because there are not enough people willing to do it, not to mention the know-how, it is forced by cutting benefits. But also to move from one place to another. From the rest of the country, mainly to the metropolitan area.

This trend has had a devastating effect on the property value of the peripheral regions. Smaller apartment blocks have also had to be demolished due to the loss of population caused by migration. Respectively, it has created excellent business conditions for growth centers. This, if anything, has created good returns for pension assets due to ever-rising prices. Is the guiding effect of the legislation, the actual goal that has been striven to? A capital boost for capital circuit by accelerating migration and lowering dividend tax with each recession? As a result, economic recovery and Finland’s recovery from the recession will certainly be achieved, but at what price!

The redistribution of wealth was proven again when Statistics Finland released preliminary data on January 27, 2017, according to which the divide is only accelerating. For example, in the value regions of Helsinki, housing prices have risen more than 60% in just over ten years, and respectively in Kainuu, prices have fallen almost 20%. The preliminary information presents changes in the value of property from 2005 to the end of 2016. But that’s not enough.

In order to see the real changes, it would be necessary to have similar regional comparisons of the effects of real property prices, which were accelerated by the 90’s recession. As well as add to the effects of the 60’s and 70’s recession. All three periods together would only show the real losses that the legislative work has caused to people in sparsely populated areas. And similarly, the prosperity from which the growth center business, as well as the land and property owners, have been involved. Not to mention the housing foundations that have received large government grants.

The share of the government, which was supposed to support the municipal welfare and health care costs, have not been sufficient to replace all the capital collected from the municipalities. In addition to the cash flow from pension contributions and company law, consumption tax (VAT) is levied from the area of municipalities. Just that (VAT), the sparsely populated families pay about the same amount as these municipalities receive state subsidies. Considering the whole, the truth of the assertions that the municipalities in the metropolitan area, provide for livelihoods to remote areas, is just the opposite.

Even though information technology and, with it, automation and robots are opportunities of the future, yet their development should not have forced to pay and should not continue to get payments from other business areas! As from all labor-intensive sectors. And by no means in the health and elderly care sectors. Trying to cut costs by a social security solution and provincial government does not fix the root causes. So that can’t bring significant savings, if at all. Only to diminish the autonomy of the municipalities.

(Still to be addressed, the possibility for banks to borrow non-existent money, which puts them at a very different level in business. But since it provides a good basis for bug fixes, I won’t address it this time.)

Legislative work over decades has been extremely unconstitutional. It should guarantee every Finnish citizen the same rights, no matter where he or she lives in Finland. Property protection, work and housing, and human rights. In the event of a violation of these rights, the citizens who have loss are entitled to claim compensation.

EDUCATION, EXPERTS ’STATEMENTS AND ANALYSIS OF THEM

Considering this, how inequality this country has come driven by experts, to education has obviously been given far too much weight. Not to mention China’s prosperity at the same pace as the Western market economy is massively indebted. The made progress is hardly worthy of the common triumph of democracy, education and politics.

However, I understand the difficulty of legislative work. Even complex individual matters are difficult to prepare for law. The actual effect of the law in relation to its purpose is already difficult to outline. Not to mention its long-term impact on the overall impact of several laws. The opinions of the experts are very important at that stage. However, whoever analyzes the material and draws the necessary conclusions, can’t be, and not allowed to be the opinion makers themselves. Analyzing the whole is quite different than the proposals made by individual experts from their own starting points. In that, the use of the Member of Parliament own wisdom is more likely to succeed than by bowing the experts. If is not capable to understand what decision is being made, it is better not to do the law. Fewer and clearer laws, please.

In many respects, decades of legislation have gone badly wrong. By 2005 at the latest, the alarm bells should have started ringing. At the time the Chinese Treasury already had $ 2,500 billion, Western market economies and democracy had gained even more debt! Not to mention the foreign policy pursued by the West, which was leading the rise of the Chinese and Russian military powers! And as we have now noticed, to quite a problems. Even if today an accusing finger points in any direction, it is worth pointing towards yourself!

Items of the Constitution violated by legislative work

Article 6

Parity

People are equal front of the law.
No one shall be discriminated against without any valid reason on the basis of sex, age, origin, language, religion, belief, opinion, state of health, disability or any other reason related to a person.
Children need to be treated equally as individuals and should be able to influence matters concerning themselves in line with their development.
Gender equality shall be promoted in social activities and in working life, in particular as regards pay and other conditions of employment, as further specified by law.

Article 15

Property protection

Everyone’s property is secured.
Expropriation of property for general need by full compensation will be regulated by law.

Article 18

The right to work and the freedom to conduct a business

Everyone has the right by law to earn a living by any job, profession or trade of their choice. Public authorities must protect the workforce.
Public authorities must promote employment and seek to guarantee everyone the right to work. The right to employable training is regulated by law.
No one can be dismissed from work without a legitimate reason.


Article 21

Legal protection

Everyone has the right to a fair processing and without undue delay according to law at the competent court or other authority and the right to receive a decision from the rights and obligations for consideration of court or other independent judicial body.

The publicity of the proceedings and the right to be heard, to receive a reasoned decision and to appeal, as well as others in a fair trial and guarantees of good administration will be secured by law.

Article 22

Safeguarding fundamental rights

Public authorities must ensure that fundamental and human rights realization.

Article 29

Independence of a Member of Parliament

A Member of Parliament is obliged to uphold justice and truth in his or her work. He or she is bound by the Constitution and is not bound by other regulations.

Article 121

Municipal and other regional self-government

Finland is divided into municipalities, whose administration must be based on the self-government of the residents of the municipality.

The general principles of municipal administration and the tasks assigned to municipalities are regulated by law.

Municipalities have the right to tax. The law provides for tax liability and the basis for determination of taxes and the legal protection of the taxable person.

Self-government in administrative areas larger than municipalities is regulated by law. The Sámi in the Sámi’s native locality have autonomy in accordance with their language and culture as determined by law.


ANNEX:

Published originally in Finnish in the newspaper Iltalehti on 31.03.2005

Market economy, a threat to world peace?

No wonder if strictly is held the current market-driven economic model when some Congressmen are involved in it. Some of them own shares of listed companies, while some others are sitting at the board tables. Not to mention those who dream of a listed company as a future job places after their representation.

The remarkable impact of the current economic model is the shift of production to, for example, China. It is about the China phenomenon, which is precisely the transfer of capital and jobs to countries with cheaper production costs. Have you come to think about where this is leading? The financial consequences are already visible, but what about the military? There has been tremendous flow of western capital into China, invested and earned from products. China has obviously used more money for military buildup, than to
the social or human legal improvements. Due to the EU arms embargo, China has almost exclusively purchased weapons from Russia. Which is back in the war industry with its top-notch products. With the improved economy, Russia strives to strengthen its military capabilities, just as it did during the Cold War.
So, while the western economic model is relocating jobs outside the region, at the same time we will be financing two perhaps the world’s most unpredictable nuclear powers to be more powerful. So no wonder if Putin so largely smiled about this arms export to China. The glee is one of the best joys, and the stupidity of others.

This does not mean that I would admire the role of Americans as the world police, which they have taken. I only mean that the use of your own sense is also allowed. Would it be time to start independent thinking?

Reijo Lahdenperä

Answer

PARLIAMENT                                                           11.9. 2017

The Constitutional Law Committee
____________________________________________________

Reijo Lahdenperä

Reference:
Your letter on 8.2.2017

In your letter to the Constitutional Law Committee, you have complained about legislation that you consider to be unconstitutional for decades.

The duties of the Parliamentary Constitutional Law Committee are laid down in the Constitution. The main function of the Committee is to participate in the drafting of laws in Parliament. Pursuant to Article 74 of the Constitution, the Committee shall deliver opinions on the constitutionality of pending bills and other matters and on its relationship with international human rights treaties. These are matters that have been duly brought before Parliament, and which have also been referred to the committee or otherwise come to be dealt with by provision. Becoming of the matter to pending in Parliament has provided for in the Constitution and the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.

Becoming of the matter to pending in Parliament will provide for in the Constitution and the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.
At the request of a private individual, the matter will not become pending of Parliament or be referred to the Parliamentary Constitutional Law Committee.

Information from your letter and related explanations was made available to the members of the Committee on 17 February 2017. Your letter has not led to any action by the Constitutional Law Committee.

Mikael Koillinen
deputy secretary of the committee


Answer

Deputy Chancellor of Justice 08.03.2018                          Diaar Issue OKV / 12/1/2018

Reijo Lahdenperä 1/2
Salontie 30
95315 Törmä

COMPLAINT

In your complaint to the Chancellor of Justice, filed with the Chancellor’s Office on 3.1.2018, you criticize legislation that you consider unconstitutional. You did bring up the municipal self-government, pension contributions, and pension funds, value-added tax, to the Electricity Market Law and to remote reading meters and aspects of bank support in the 90’s. You are asking the Chancellor of Justice to investigate the arguments you have in your paper. You also ask the Chancellor of Justice to help set up a Constitutional Court, if necessary.

SOLUTION

Pursuant to Article 108 (1) of the Constitution, the Chancellor of Justice is responsible for reviewing the legality of the functions of the Council of State and the President of the Republic. The Chancellor of Justice is also required to ensure that courts and other authorities, as well as officials, public employees and also others in the performance of their public duties, comply with the law and fulfill their obligations.

Pursuant to Article 4 (1) of the Council of State Law on the, the Chancellor shall investigate a complaint if there is reason to suspect that a person, authority or other entity under the control of Chancellor of Justice has acted unlawfully or failed to fulfill his obligations or if the Chancellor of Justice for any other reason considers that there is cause to it.

Under Section 4 (3) of the law, the Chancellor of Justice shall not deal with a complaint concerning a complaint that is more than two years old, unless there is a particular reason to do so.

Your writing does not indicate such an authority or any other procedure subject under my control, which I should start investigating as a complaint. Your writing mainly concerns the content of the legislation, the assessment of which appropriateness is not part of my mandate and not my role as supreme law enforcement officer. The establishment of a Constitutional Court is also such an issue. Part of your writing also applies to things over two years old, which I have no particular reason to investigate.

Therefore, your complaint has not resulted in any action.

Attachments to your post will be returned below.

Deputy to the Deputy Chancellor Kimmo Hakonen

Senior Secretary to the Chancellor of Justice Laura Pyökäri

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Return to the ’Start Here’ page

Comments are closed.