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FSD2793 Family Barometer 2010: Family Policy

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Authors

  • Miettinen, Anneli (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)
  • Rotkirch, Anna (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)

Keywords

child care, child day care, childbirth, children, families, family benefits, family policy, gender role, labour and employment, parental leave, parents, social security benefits, taxation

Abstract

The study charted the views of Finnish people on family policy and included themes such as family benefits, taxation, parenting, gender roles and work-life balance.

The respondents were first asked some questions about their situation, for example, whether they had any children and how many children under the ages of 18 and 10 they had. Those respondents who had children were asked whether they or the other parent had been on care leave (after parental leave, granted by the employer), how the family usually spent the child benefit and what things had been particularly important and challenging when they had had their first child. The way expenses and bills were paid between the respondent and their spouse was investigated as well as how satisfied the respondent was with various services for families with children. One question surveyed whether the respondents had regularly helped a relative not living in their household in the previous 12 months. Opinions on the ideal number of children were surveyed.

Relating to social policy in general, the respondents were asked whether Finnish social security benefits should be universal or directed at those with financial difficulties, what their opinion on the amount of taxes was and whether income tax could be increased if the increase in revenue were directed at certain purposes (e.g. care for the elderly). Relating to family policy, views were surveyed on how tax income should specifically be allocated if it was used to support families with children (e.g. on day care services, child health care), how child benefit should be paid based on the income of the family as well as the importance of various measures that could be taken to improve the circumstances of families with children and the importance of measures to develop family leave and work-life balance.

The respondents were also asked how fathers could be encouraged to take paternal leaves, to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to gender roles and whether care leave/home care allowance should also be granted to relatives other than parents who look after a small child and to people who are working and caring for their own parents. Opinions on the best type of taxation for families with children were charted.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's date of birth, gender, mother tongue, marital status, household composition, level of education, economic activity and occupational status, employer type, previous occupational status, membership in a trade union/professional organisation, self-placement on a left - right axis, self-perceived social class, personal gross annual income and place of residence. Further background variables included the mother tongues of the members of the household, household size, number and ages of children in the household, gross annual income of the household, type of accommodation, housing tenure and the respondent's/family's financial situation.

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