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Vast majority in Finland against tax hikes, business lobby poll finds

Some MPs engaged in forming the next government have said tax increases might be in store.

Nainen tutkii veroilmoitusta
The business lobby survey found low enthusiasm for a tax hike. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

The vast majority, 77 percent of respondents said they do not want to see higher taxes, according to a poll commissioned by business think tank Eva, the Finnish Business and Policy Forum.

Survey responses were collected in January and February, well before last month's general election. The party which just barely got the most votes in the election, the Social Democrats, is at the helm of ongoing government formation talks.

The SDP has its eye on tax reliefs granted to small and mid-sized businesses and aims to more heavily tax dividends paid out by unlisted companies, as well as more generally, ownership and capital. Others have said that the next administration is likely to raise taxes, rather than cut government spending.

The survey found that the majority would like to see reductions in inheritance and gift taxes, as well as VAT levied on food products.

Handful would agree to tax hikes

Survey participants were presented with nine different types of taxes and asked to decide which ones they would like to see raised, reduced or remain unchanged.

Across the board, the majority of participants said they did not want to see any of the various taxes go up, according to the business lobby.

One of the questions asked whether respondents personally would be prepared to hand over more tax money to the state. Perhaps surprisingly, 23 percent of the respondents said they would, while 53 percent said they wouldn't.

About 64 percent said the government should find ways to boost public finances rather than raise taxes, while only 16 percent thought the opposite.

The survey carried a margin of error of 2-3 percentage points in either direction and queried around 2,000 people between the ages of 18 and 70.

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