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FSD3001 EVA Survey on Finnish Values and Attitudes 2015

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Authors

  • Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA)

Keywords

European integration, businesses, decision making, health services, leadership, national security, occupational life, parliamentary elections, taxation, well-being (society)

Abstract

The main themes of the survey were leadership, work, taxation and security of Finland.

First, the respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to, for instance, political parties and the political system, science and technology, employment, economic growth, taxation, changes in society, health care, environment, entrepreneurship, public services, Finland's foreign relations, NATO membership, regulation of alcohol, social services, national debt, etc.

Regarding the parliamentary elections of 2015, the respondents were asked what the new government should focus on (e.g. lowering taxation, increasing funding for education, crime prevention, cutting public expenditure) and how well certain characteristics and descriptions (e.g. "patriotic, always promotes Finland's interests") applied to the four prime minister candidates (Antti Rinne, Juha Sipilä, Timo Soini, Alexander Stubb). Opinions were charted on why Finland's capacity for decision-making has been poor. Reasons mentioned included, for instance, the inexperience of decision-makers, politicians' fear of media reaction and negative publicity, shift of decision-making to the EU, and the strong role of bureaucracy.

Regarding taxation, the respondents' opinions were surveyed on statements about tax policy (e.g. "On the whole, taxation in Finland is too high", "Taxation should not be lowered if it leads to weakening social security and public services") and which taxes should be increased and decreased. Views on the likelihood of certain future developments in occupational life were investigated. The respondents were also asked which ways of increasing the amount of work done in Finland they regarded acceptable in order to finance the welfare state (e.g. increasing weekly working hours, raising retirement age). Self-perceived health status and use of private and public health services were surveyed as well as opinions on the quality of health services in Finland.

The respondents were asked how well certain characteristics/descriptions applied to Russia (e.g. "good neighbour and associate", "centralised dictatorship"). Relating to the European Union, opinions were charted on Finland's EU membership and the currency change to euro. The respondents were also asked whether the EMU membership and the euro were advantageous or disadvantageous to Finland in the economic situation at the time of the survey, and whether they would have voted for or against Finland's EU membership if a referendum had been held at the time of responding.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, region of residence (NUTS3), basic and vocational education, economic activity and occupational status, industry of employment, political party choice if parliamentary elections were held at the time of survey, membership in a trade union, self-perceived social class, and number of inhabitants in the municipality of residence.

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