Finnish Prime Minister Sana Marin (SDP) has been in the hot air since it was revealed that she and her family will receive a tax-free breakfast subsidy of around 3,000 SEK per month.
The deal, dubbed “breakfast gate” (“aamiaisgate” in Finnish), broke out on Tuesday when the evening newspaper Iltalehti first reported about it, and has since been fiercely discussed in the press and social media.
According to Iltalehti, the prime minister is not entitled to a free breakfast at taxpayers’ expense. The newspaper also revealed that the Prime Minister’s Office classified the benefit, indicating that it is related to the private life of the Prime Minister.
The office is in Fortune has claimed that all prime ministers since the era of Bafo Lipponen (1995-2003) have reaped the same benefit. But according to Paavo Lipponen’s wife Päivi Lipponen on Facebook, the family paid for their own food while staying in the official residence, Villa Bjälbo.
The Tax Administration announced that the Prime Minister will have to pay tax on breakfast allowance. Sana Marin herself said she did not have time to present her announcement yet, and is referring to her employees.
“I think that’s totally ridiculous,” Kim Strandberg, a professor of political science at Oppo Academic University, told SPT.
“It is not even on her initiative.”
Strandberg sees some similarities with the Swedish Toblerone deal in 1995, when Labor Minister Mona Sahlin used a state credit card to cover private expenses.
“But there was something else behind it as well. It was a matter of major tax fraud,” he says.