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Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 12:32:00 AM
Decision on structural reforms likely today: FM
FTimes-STT Report August 29

The leaders of the components of the six-party alliance government on Wednesday reached a consensus to approve the supplementary budget for the next year.

The ruling parties’ leaders, however, are yet to reach any decision regarding structural reforms and expected to decide it on Thursday, said Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen.
The Prime Minister, Jyrki Katainen, also chief of the National Coalition Party, the biggest ally of the government on Wednesday said that the ruling parties are now aiming to narrow down the sustainability gap in the state budget for next year.

The ministers sat together at the Prime Minister’s official residence to discuss the supplementary budget and agreed on the proposal placed by the Finance Minister Minister Jutta Urpilainen.
Talking to the journalists, Katainen said that they need to wait till Thursday to know the decision about structural reform as they need to discuss detail about the major reform.

The Finance Minister, Jutta Urpilainen, also chief of the second largest component of the government Social Democratic Party said that the structural reform would help overcome the unemployment crisis and improve productivity in the public sector.

The Finance Ministry’s working group has proposed limiting children’s right to daycare if their parents are not at work or in education, restricting benefits for stay-at-home parents and re-balancing student financing to place more emphasis on loans than direct support, reported Yle.

Earlier, the government on August 23 published the supplementary budget increasing the net debt to EUR 9 billion, an amount much higher than the estimated figure. With the debt increase, the state debt will be EUR 93 billion at the end of this year.

The draft of the supplementary budget said that out of the amount that increased the debt, EUR 346 million has been allocated for various stimulus projects including EUR 200 million for the infrastructural development of the Helsinki Airport. The rest amount of the allocation will be given to the sectors for renovation of the mold affected building and small roads.

The remaining EUR 0.9 billion will be needed to recover the shortfall in income tax revenues as the earnings from tax and review was much lower compared to the targeted amount.

The supplementary budget also kept incentive and tax holiday for small entrepreneurs and farmers, and the burden of administrative cost will be reduced as per the supplementary budget.
The government also took the matter of providing same amount of unemployment benefits to the people who earn EUR 300 or less per month as the benefit of the completely unemployed people.

The supplementary budget also assured to provide tax free informal scare and Kela would pay the benefit in future without cutting the ‘Child home’ care allowance.
It also planned to bring changes in the child protection and youth work service facilities and allocate money for renovation of private roads.

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