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Friday’s papers: Lagging productivity, firearm attitudes and taxing the little guy

The OECD is calling for Finland to step up its productivity, the Finns Party wants to ease firearm rules and volunteer-run groups feel a tax squeeze.

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Finland needs to increase its productivity, said the OECD. Image: AOP

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría criticised Finland’s dwindling investments into product innovation and urged Finland to boost productivity on a visit to Helsinki on Thursday, writes business daily Kauppalehti.

The head of the 35-nation club said Finland will face challenges as it moves towards a service-oriented economy, as it will have to re-educate its workforce to meet evolving demands.

Gurría, however, praised Finland for not crossing the 60 percent debt-to-GDP ratio, pointing out that OECD states on average carry public debt amounting to 100 percent of GDP.

Politics and firearms

Forty-two percent of candidates in the election compass of agricultural newspaper Maaseudun tulevaisuus said they would make it easier for residents to acquire firearm permits for hunting.

Finns Party candidates were most clearly in favour of easing restrictions on acquiring firearm licenses.

Meanwhile candidates for the Greens, Social Democrats, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party were most opposed to the idea.

Yle launched its election compass on Thursday, ahead of parliamentary elections due on 14 April.

Volunteers face red tape

Finland’s centralised online income register, launched earlier this year, is causing a bureaucratic headache for small associations, writes national daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Since the start of the year, associations have been required to report gifts worth less than 100 euros, which was the previous notification threshold. Volunteer-run organisations are now obliged to report the value of minor prizes to the tax authorities. The rule is proving too burdensome for some, especially senior citizens, writes HS.

To avoid extra paperwork, HS reports that some fishing associations are considering ending the practice of awarding competition prizes, worth around 20 euros, such as food gift packages.

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