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Government prepares €2.4 billion supplementary budget to finance vaccines, Covid recovery

The third supplementary budget of the year will be submitted to Parliament for debate and approval on Thursday.

Ministeri Vanhanen poseeraa Valtionneuvoston linnan edessä.
Outgoing Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen (Cen) announced the proposed supplementary budget on Tuesday. Image: Ilkka Klemola / Yle
Yle News

The government is preparing a 2.4-billion-euro supplementary budget to be submitted to Parliament for approval on Thursday.

The draft proposal includes many of the terms agreed during last month's tense, week-long budget negotiations, as well as other measures decided earlier in the year.

In the proposal, the government is setting aside a total of 111 million euros to mitigate the adverse effects of the coronavirus crisis on children and young people, especially in relation to educational needs. The figure therefore includes 40 million euros for pre-primary, basic and early childhood education, 15 million euros to support upper secondary education and five million euros for vocational training.

A further four million euros is being proposed to help universities recover from the crisis.

The funding is intended to offset the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, such as an increase in learning gaps and a decline in student well-being.

Framework reserve set to rise by over €1bn

In a statement announcing the third supplementary budget issued on Tuesday, outgoing Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen (Cen) said that the additional 500 million euros framework reserve set aside for this year will be increased to 1.85 billion euros.

"The continuing difficult situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, and the related restrictive and support measures, have led to a situation where the above-mentioned framework reserve has proved to be too small," Vanhanen said.

"And this is largely about supporting businesses, the business community and alleviating the disadvantages for different sections of the population," the former PM continued.

The government's net borrowing figure for this year will increase by 2.4 billion euros to about 14.4 billion euros, while government debt is estimated to reach around 139.3 billion euros by the end of this year, or 56 percent of GDP.

Further funding for Sote, Olympic Stadium, transport

Among other proposals, the government wants to spend 120 million euros on the acquisition of Border Guard aircraft and patrol vessels, while about 50 million is being budgeted to cover ICT costs related to the so-called sote reform of social and healthcare services.

A further 37.9 million euros will be required to cover the final costs of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium renovation and repair project. The total price tag of the project is now estimated to be 337 million euros, which the state and the City of Helsinki will divide equally.

The government also proposes a series of measures aimed at supporting the transport industry, with a budget of 23 million euros set aside for regional and local operations and 11 million euros for the acquisition of passenger trains.

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