Ministerial blundering with taxes

(Written in April 2013, forgot to publish then)

Recent headlines in Finnish news have been a bit like from a Mel Brooks movie. Heidi Hautala, a former MEP and a righteous, indignant Minister for International Development and State Ownership Steering Issues, who preaches to others against grey economy, is found out to have paid cash in hand, avoiding taxes when employing a craftsman and a cleaner. She had to leave a position in a cabinet working group against grey economy. It's a farce.

He was replaced by Ville Niinistö. Who then promptly is revealed to have been driving his ex-wive's car, registered in Sweden, without paying the car tax - avoiding the payment of a substantial sum. The car was stored in the Parliaments parking garage, against the practise which is that the lot is not for long-term storage. On top of that he decided to bury all the bad news in one go on the day of Boston Marathon bombing, and threw in a speeding ticket as well.

Hautala's case is a typical story where a very small misconduct is covered by little white lies that grow and eventually take over completely, bringing down the politician. Another similar case was the recent Huhne/Pryce case in U.K where a government minister resigned and went to jail (and got to the was bottom of the pile there) because of a little deception that started with a speeding ticket. and grew into perjury. The initial, almost negligible offence, and the consequences and amount of publicity, are quite out of scale.

In our modest Finnish case, Hautala was  exposed by an antagonised ex-employee. She first denied any real wrongdoing, then explained it is a misunderstanding, then blamed a conspiracy by Mr. Batman and his allies of the mysterious SAFKA, a tin-foil-hat "anti-fascist" organisation which mainly concentrates on finding absolutely nothing wrong with Putin's Russia (while Hautala quite justifiably finds a lot of wrong with Putin's Russia). We're waiting for the next phase with a large bucket of popcorn.

Hautala declares that "no one can afford to moralise". This is hardly convincing, because right until this point, she was moralising to everyone else as much as anyone was willing to listen.

So the situation definitely calls for a Hitler rant (click the little envelope icon for English subtitles; if you prefer Finnish burned-in texts, see this.)

Niinistö's behaviour is similar, likewise comical. His party is known to be hostile towards cars, and all for public transport. I know several supporters of the party who want very harsh punishment for those who are caught speeding. They are also intent on reducing parking spaces in Helsinki (and anywhere). But suddenly their chairman is found to be parking his car, which conveniently avoids annual car tax by being registered to Sweden, at the Parliament's garage, long-term, and speeding (in a rented Lexus) so much that a normal citizen would lose driving license instantly...

So we absolutely need another Hitler rant.

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti