Finnish politician advocates implanting benefit claimants with microchips to track them

Pasi Mäenranta argued that it would stop public money being used fraudulently to fund 'lavish lifestyles' abroad

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A Finnish politician has proposed implanting benefit claimants with microchips to stop them using public money to fund “lavish lifestyles” abroad.

Pasi Mäenranta, chairman of the nationalist Finns Party in Rauma, outlined his proposition on Facebook.

“We don't know in what situations people go abroad,” he wrote on Sunday, according to a translation by Finnish news website Metropolitan.fi

“It is possible that our social benefits are used to provide for a lavish lifestyle in a country with lower cost of living. I hope for a change to this.”

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Reports in Finnish media claimed Isis supporters have been using benefits to fund their lives with the terror group in Syria

Mr Mäenranta said that the chip could track the person’s whereabouts but would be voluntary.

He suggested that electronic tags could also be used, with welfare payments being immediately stopped if the item was broken or removed.

The politician, who is a local councillor and does not sit in the Finnish parliament, has been a member of the Finns Party since 2006 and contested three national elections.

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The Finns Party, headed by foreign minister Timo Soini, is known for its Eurosceptic and anti-immigration stance

Welfare payments are being debated in Finland following reports that Isis supporters may be using unemployment and child benefits to fund their journey to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria.

The Finns Party, also known as the True Finns, won the second-largest number of seats in April’s elections and became part of the coalition government for the first time.

Policies include reducing immigration from outside the EU, restricting social and health care to Finns, refusing asylum to refugees and abolishing international aid.

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