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Yle sources: Government planning smaller support package for agriculture sector

The package aims to help farms facing financial difficulties as a result of rising fertiliser and electricity prices.

Finland's agriculture industry has been hit by the effects of Russia's war on Ukraine, with global fertiliser prices rising to unprecedented levels. Image: Kalle Niskala / Yle
Yle News

Finland's government is planning to allocate just over 100 million euros for a subsidy package aimed at the agricultural sector.

Previous estimates of funding the government was preparing to make available were initially around 300 million euros, before dropping to around 200 million euros last week.

Yle sources understand that the Centre Party — which traditionally has support among rural communities — has demanded that the package should provide a minimum amount of just over 100 million euros.

The government's five coalition parties are currently trying to hammer out the details of a supplementary budget that is primarily aimed at supporting the agriculture industry as well as helping to alleviate backlogs in the healthcare sector.

In the agricultural sector, this would involve providing direct aid to farmers who are having difficulty meeting costs because of the rise in fertiliser and electricity costs. More specifically, crop farms are affected by the high price of fertilisers, while livestock farms are hit by rising electricity bills.

Government to budget €350m for agriculture, healthcare

The government's budget framework contains a provision of around 350 million euros to cover unexpected expenditures before the end of this parliamentary term.

However, this framework is not enough to meet demands made by Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Social Democratic Party (SDP) for an extra 700 million euros to clear patient waiting lists. Marin reiterated her party's objective of reducing healthcare backlogs during the regular Prime Minister's interview session on Sunday afternoon, broadcast on Yle Radio Suomi. 

If 700 million euros were to be channelled into reducing the backlogs, it would mean that the government would exceed the budgetary framework and need to take on more debt.

According to Yle's sources, a much smaller allocation for the healthcare sector has also been discussed by the cabinet, with an estimate of a total of 350 million euros being made available for both sectors. 

During the Sunday afternoon interview, Marin also played down the impact of internal disputes within the coalition she leads, saying the parties were still capable of working together despite a series of recent rifts and controversies.

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