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Home NATIONALMini-government negotiations kick off today
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Tue, 17 Jun, 2014 12:10:04 AM
Focus on school-leaving age, child-benefit cuts likely
 
The leaders of the five components of the government Päivi Räsänen, Ville Niinistö, Alexander Stubb, Antti Rinne, Carl Haglund government speaking on the negotiations on Monday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
The EUR 600 million package to boost the floundering economy and create employment is likely to take the centre stage in the mini-government negotiations that begin today at Königstedt Manor in Vanta. 
 
Newly-elected chair of the Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party) and prime minister designate Alexander Stubb was asked on Monday to lead the negotiations to be attended by all the components of the five-party ruling coalition.
 
Speaking on Monday, Stubb said the talks are intended to achieve political stability and keep the team together. He said the goal is to ensure that the economic policy of the country is predictable, which he regards as important for the country’s competitiveness and also from the credit-rating point of view.
 
According to Stubb, the negotiations will focus on three main issues. The first contains implementation of the decisions already made and the structure of the package, the second will be looking into the issues pestering the parties and the third section will tackle economic growth and employment.
 
Stubb did not specifically mention which question the parties are likely to raise. It is however likely that the contentious issues of raising the school-leaving age and child benefit cuts will be discussed.
 
The government proposed a 600 million euro stimulus package during the March budget framework talks. The package would be directed to steer the economy towards growth.
 
The package could be used for investment in infrastructure and housing as well as for projects such as home schools and construction of public buildings.
 
Funding is expected to come from internal budget transfers and sale of state-owned assets. Funding could also come from outside the budget framework, such as the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland.
 
Antti Rinne, the chair of the Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland) pointed out last month that investing in growth and creating employment were the main objectives of the social democrats going into these talks.
 
 
 
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