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Government proposes spending additional €2bn on defence in supplementary budget

If the draft budget is accepted by Parliament, it will increase the government’s net borrowing requirement by approximately 1.3 billion euros.

Details of the supplementary budget were announced at a press conference on Friday afternoon. Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

Finland's government has proposed increasing net spending by about 2.3 billion euros in its second draft supplementary budget of this year.

The two main areas of spending are national defence, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and measures aimed at mitigating the harm caused by the Covid pandemic to children and young people.

"Finland’s security environment has changed following Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, and this requires immediate measures to bolster defence capability and border security," a government press release noted, adding that 2 billion euros will be allocated to defence budgets.

The breakdown of the defence figures include 690 million euros for the Ministry of Defence’s branch of government and for the Finnish Border Guard, 38 million euros aimed at improving cyber security and some 293 million euros to support the nation's security of supply.

In addition, about 120 million euros will be allocated to efforts aimed at reducing the impact of the Covid pandemic on children and young people.

This includes 58 million euros for pre-primary and primary education, 26 million euros for vocational education and training, and 17 million euros for upper secondary education.

The expenditure will be offset to some extent by a predicted revenue increase of 1 billion euros — which is almost entirely due to growth in the corporate tax revenue estimate.

The governing coalition parties reached agreement on the draft supplementary budget on Friday and the proposal will be submitted to Parliament on Wednesday.

If accepted by Parliament, the draft proposal will increase the government’s net borrowing requirement by approximately 1.3 billion euros.

In total, net borrowing is expected to be around 8.9 billion for 2022.

"Central government debt on the budget is expected to total 138 billion euros at the end of 2022, which is approximately 52 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)," the government's press release noted.