Kela Money?

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Post by jcooper » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:01 am

I think there are a few misconceptions here. Firstly Peter, moving to Finland is not like moving from Cork to Dublin. One of the things that the European Union is trying to do at the moment is create create full mobility and two stumbling blocks are known to be the E111 route and the unemployment assistance fund.

The reality is the current system is only a stop gap and provided for those who have contributed the minimum entitlements in their home country and are then, if they are involuntarily unemployed eligible for unemployment assistance for 3 months under the E303 route, assuming that they have been registered at least 2 months in their home country as being unemployed. This system is in place for the sole reason to stop unemployed persons in one region moving to another to extract better benefits.

In Dermots case from what I hear he had not worked in Ireland and had not contributed to the PRSI fund to in fact be entitled to any funds under the E303 scheme. I'll not quote directives here, as well without going trawling I'd be miss misquoting myself, but at any one time the person must be covered by at most one social insurance fund. In Dermots, the Kela will try and disprove that they are responsible for him saying that he is still and should be covered by the Department of Social affairs in Ireland.

Secondly Dusty_bin, I agreed with allot of what you said. But to get a few things straight, Dermot has not been the first, nor will he be the last to have only posted wrt to his entitlements or not as the case maybe to Kela assistance. Nor was he the first person to up and leave a style of life that may have been a whole lot easier for him than moving to Finland. Being Irish myself I can all to well understand to benefits of living in Finland over that of Ireland, but searching for employment is not one of them. Maybe Dermot was the sraw that broke the camels back, but I look forward to your Ann Widicombe styled rants on similar issues :)

Lastly Dermot, I wish you the best of luck and it sounds as if you may need it. I think you'll have to be realistic as to how far you can activiely pursue your choosen career in the arts. Two of my sisters (one a music teacher, the other a stage actor) have pursued careers along these routes for a few years now. The facts are that 92%(cite: A Recent survey of both France and the UK combined) of people in this industry do not find fulltime work in their profession. I think you're mistaken if you think this will be easier in Finland than in Ireland, or anywhere else for that matter. Unfortunately motivation and determination are not enough, once when this board was on Smartgroups a member who had struggled for 2.5 years finally gave up citing that his financial health was part and parcel of his relationships health. Its something you'll have to be aware of. Best of luck,

Who is this dog Franks?


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Post by dusty_bin » Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:33 am


I am sure that Dermot was not the first, not the last of folk to post asking about claiming social benefits. His was though, the most egregious case of trawling for ways to make his life easier at the expense of others (IMHO).

Moving from one country to another is something that should not be undertaken lightly, I have done it once, as a student, and am considering it a second time as my student days end, like most of you; this is stuff that we should all know!

If the guy had put in the effort that he claimed, he would be able to be here, living on the taxpayers pound, either as a student, prepaid by Erasmus or Socrates, depending upon which fund he claimed from (yes they are part of the same org, but the funds are different), or by continuing his dole handouts continued from Ireland, but paid for by Finland.

This is about responsibility, I guess that was what vexed me the most, that he had not prepared himself in any substantive way for his trip; merely following his homesick girlfriend.

I hope that he finds happiness and to an extent, even, that I am wrong in my understanding of the benefit system here.
There are lessons for all of us here.
Finding the relevant information about the FInnish benefit system, in English, took about a minute. It took me much longer to find out about Erasmus and Socrates a few years ago, perhaps an hour or so. Finding out about the tertiary education system here and scoping a few useful establishments, perhaps a couple of hours and maybe a phone call. These are not difficult things to do. If we can not or do not do them, then we deserve what we get; in this case possibly a big fat zero!


The Discussion

Post by ejmorris » Fri Oct 24, 2003 8:35 am

I certainly don't want to be overly critical of Finnish mentality on my first post but this thread is of great interest to me. I note that, unlike the Swedes or the Brits, the Finnish government is placing restrictions on the movement of labor from the new EU countries into Finland during their first few years of integration. I find it sadly typical of my experiences in Finland.

As we all know Finland has the smallest percentage of foreign born residents of any of the E.U. countries. Several weeks ago the Helsinki Sanomat ran the results of a poll showing that while Finns were all in favor of Finns being able to go abroad as a result of joining the E.U. they weren't all that pleased that foreigners could actually come to Finland.

Consider, if you will, the state of the British university system. The system is in decline and a good part of the reason is that E.U. foreign students flock to British universities, are subsidized by the British taxpayer during the course of their studies and...bam...the universities can't afford to educate the masses flocking to their doors. The British taxpayer is highly subsidizing the education of Greeks, Spainards and, yes, Finns who come to study there in far greater numbers than anywhere else in the E.U. Should the U.K. taxpayers be responsible for this charge?

In a word: yes. That is what the E.U. citizenship is all about.

In a similiar vein I have no problem with other E.U. citizens moving to Finland and immediately partaking of the benefits offered by the Finnish state. I find it completely without reason that a Finn can go to London and receive a LEA grant equal to that given a UK citizen, yet a Brit has to wait two years to avail him or herself of study money availability in Finland. It is argued that free tuition Finnish universities are already subsidized by the Finnish state for foreigners. The problem is that Finland spends so much less per student on University funding that the numbers do not equate.

Dermot, good luck Dude. For about ten years I paid into the Finnish tax system and took nothing children so no child support, never unemployed and studied in international programmes that actually charged tuition. Please take all you can get. This Irishman paid Finnish taxes. It's my pleasure to see another countryman benefit from those payments. As I also have a US passport any American able to collect benefit please do so without guilt. I paid for you.

I'll be returning next month for about a half year but will not accept further assignments in Finland. It's a beautiful country with a proud history and I've met a lot of wonderful people there. However, this petty nationalism makes it hard for me to really want to stay.

In a fair world any E.U. citizen should get exactly the same benefits as a Finnish national in Finland. If not, then tax money of non Finn E.U. citizens earned in Finland should flow back to the native states of the workers.

It bothers me that I've paid a large sum into the system yet my compatriots needing help can't get it because of where they originate from within the E.U. Funny how the Finnish tax authorities didn't seem to care about where I was from when they collected my money. Given the free movement of E.U. labor why should it matter where an E.U. citizen is from when collecting the largess of any E.U. state where they are resident?


Post by Ace » Fri Oct 24, 2003 9:53 am

Top post ejmorris, I agree with you entirely :!:

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Post by MinnaRaisanen » Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:47 am

Dusty bin....I have to admit that I tend to agree with you on all your points. Before I moved here I told everyone involved that if I did not have some kind of job lined up for me that I would not be getting on that plane. I didn't care what that job might be, but I just wanted to have something so that I would not end up 'milking the system'.

Just think, I am a Finnish citizen (through parents) and did not want to abuse what benefits the Finnish gov't offers while I could have easily done so. I just wouldn't have had the nerve to do that...I would have been quite ashamed of myself because there is no reason that I couldn't work. None at all.

Back in Canada I was working for a national television station and then came here to be a 'parks' person working at the city gardens. Quite a step down, but at least I was making money! Now I've managed to move slightly up from that, but not much. At least I'm still making money.

I have a very strong work ethic and do not agree with people making no effort to work when they are able to. The system is there to help when life gives you a whack, and not to be abusedl. Back home people made such a mockery of the welfare and unemployment benefits that now it is practically impossible to get any assistance. My father, having worked in Canada for over 30 years and paying into the system, went through hell trying to get help from that very system when the company he worked for went bankrupt at CHRISTMAS!! :evil: My father was totally entitled to assistance, but because of people taking advantage of the benefits, was put through a nightmare to get what was rightfully his!!! Grrrrrrrr......... 3 cents worth :roll:
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw


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Post by simakun » Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:46 am

Hi Dermot, I was just scrolling thru this topic and noticed that you originally planned to study English and Philosophy. Well, Helsinki Uni so happens to have what appears to be a pretty interesting English department and their Philosophy dept offers pretty standard fare. Both places teach entirely in English. Perhaps you can think about applying early next year. It'll provide you the opportunity to learn finnish, earn a good qualification and meet other people who might share the same interests.

Tom and Jerry

Re: The Discussion

Post by Tom and Jerry » Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:59 am

ejmorris wrote:

Dermot, good luck Dude. For about ten years I paid into the Finnish tax system and took nothing out...
Good post ejmorris.
The EU-citizens in Finland bring in a lot of tax money and with an education the Finnish state never paid for...

So, good luck Dude. :D

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Re: The Discussion

Post by Hank W. » Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:00 pm

ejmorris wrote: the numbers do not equate.
That is the problem. I was last night out speaking with a fellow .'er and the talk came to salary, taxes & so forth. In the UK he made twice the money and had a 20% tax rate, here in Finland it is 1/2 the salary and 35% tax rate. Well, bummer.

The thing is before we have an equal taxation and equal benefits system EU-wide, the equation does not work. Otherwise people would move "shopping around" for social benefits (as some did from Finland to Sweden).

Now if the UK has such lax system they hand out money left and right then is it a problem of people going there to exploit the system or the problem of the system being lax? I'm rather thinking the Finnish system is too lax handing out benefits left and right...
Cheers, Hank W.
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Post by brendan_uk » Fri Oct 24, 2003 3:22 pm

Dermot, good luck Dude. For about ten years I paid into the Finnish tax system and took nothing out...
He can fill his boots with my tax paid to the finnish too. That goes for any Finns in the uk aswell.

We are not the gate keepers to our nations treasury they have whole departments for that. They will ask for form after form to be filled in so they can decide who is eligable, we dont have those facts.

I think alot of posts have been based on prejudice, which is abit sad really

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Post by Caroline » Sun Nov 02, 2003 9:05 pm

I can relate somewhat to Dermot's thought processes, as I am a fine arts field graduate of a university in my home country, having brought my goals and skills to Finland with the intentions of helping to diversify Finland's emerging arts culture (insert laughter here :mrgreen: ). In my naive days, I was inspired by the supposed ideal society combining freedom of enterprise with a strong socialist base.

Then, when the honeymoon wore off, I began to realize that actions speak louder than words, and that Finland doesn't really seem to be interested in improving the employment rate or small business growth; specifically the vast majority of people educated in the fine or performing arts (even big names!) support themselves partially by doing unskilled labor on the side, or by getting help from relatives or other sources. The government pumps an awful lot of money into job promotion programs which routinely produce dismal results. A lot of Finnish artists and creative designers who have been educated in Finand are moving abroad for the better opportunities to get noticed and make a living- HS had a story about how Germany tends to attract such people.

In the case of the individual who had given up after struggling for 2.5 years- well, it is to some extent important to have family members who believe in you, but on the other hand it seems that 2.5 years of effort doesn't reflect a real devotion to developing the career, because it usually takes an average of 10 years for emerging fine and performing artists to get established, unless they've had connections within the family, or known the right people who can help promote them. I do believe that determination and motivation play a certain role in the success, but it is also extremely important to know about the marketing and business end, and sometimes just "being in the right place at the right time".

So, I'll sit halfway between devil's advocate and optimist and suggest that your chances of making a decent living in the arts field in Finland are not very good according to the statistics, BUT sometimes a refusal to accept what other people think can result in great things being accomplished. Michael Flatley was interviewed on Finnish TV, and said, "Follow your dream and don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. Ten years ago, who would have ever imagined that a dancer would be making more money than a rock star"?
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

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Re: Kela Money?

Post by helena » Fri Nov 28, 2003 7:51 pm

To Dermot ,

Why you not try to get some job in finland you just go to työvoimatoimisto you are EU citizen and then you can be unemployment you have an education don't you? So, better get money from job then get money cause not working. Rent house in here very expensive and kela money is not enough. Different way if you are a woman they must take care a baby. But also because my husband working and have a good salary so I can't get unemployment money. For a married woman they look also husband income. SO BETTER AS A MAN GET JOB THEN BE A LAZY ASS. :lol:

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Re: Kela Money

Post by helena » Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:03 pm

My course of action so far, was as follows:

Työvoimatoimisto -> Residence Permit -> Maistraatti -> Kela




Re: Kela Money

Post by Ace » Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:30 pm

Different residency permits for EU citizens :!: The rest of the list seems fairly accurate ;-) Shame you can't get pregnant Dermot :lol:

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Re: Kela Money?

Post by Majava » Sat Nov 29, 2003 3:06 pm

helena wrote:Different way if you are a woman they must take care a baby.
Oh yeah, sure. And hubbie is the only one who can think of a career, right?
and so much better for a woman to stay home and have babies... What if I would start to say that it would be best if all black immigrants from Africa should do something with arts and crafts, since they seem to be so good in it. Or better, that they should not persue any business career ? Yes, correct, I would be discriminating. Still, so many are perfectly ok if women are put down and pointed at their "duties" of being mother and housekeeper. Makes me mad :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Post by dusty_bin » Sat Nov 29, 2003 4:15 pm

I wonder what happened to Dermot?

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