Reima Kuisla, a citizen of Finland, has been slammed with a speeding fine of $77,264 (54,000 Euro) for driving 103 km/hour in an 80 km/hour zone.

To many around the world this may seem excessive. But Finland has an interesting fines policy. Fines are not a set amount. Rather, they are based on a percentage of the defendant’s yearly earnings.

The reason for this change was to have all culprits feel the pain equally, regardless of their wealth.

Mr Kuisla declared his earnings to be $9.28 million (6.5 million Euro) in 2013. As such, the standard 0.80 per cent fine on his income works out to be a little over $77,000!

Mr Kuisla is outraged. He posted on his Facebook page: “Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have believed that I would seriously consider moving abroad. Finland is impossible to live in for certain kinds of people who have high incomes and wealth.”

But less well-off Finns are equally outraged. They complain that a $400 fine is brushed off by the wealthy and doesn’t act as a deterrent at all.

Many have responded to his post with comments such as, “If you follow the rules, you won’t have to pay the fines” and “small fines won’t deter the rich.”

My Kuisla is only the latest in huge, revenue inflating fines issued by the Finnish legal system. In 2002 a Nokia executive on a 14 million Euro salary was stung for a 116,ooo Euro fine for speeding on his motorcycle.

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