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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) spoke to reporters in Espoo on 15 August, 2017.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) spoke to reporters in Espoo on 15 August, 2017.

 

The Centre Party is in favour of continuing levying the so-called solidarity tax on individuals with annual earnings exceeding 72,300 euros for another two years.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) clarified the party’s position on the issue during the summer meeting of the party leadership in Espoo on Tuesday, according to reports by several media outlets in Finland.

“We won’t abandon the temporary solidarity tax for high-income earners at this time, that’s our starting point,” he was quoted as saying by Suomenmaa.

The Centre thereby became the second of the three ruling parliamentary groups to announce its support for extending the tax until the end of the current electoral term. The New Alternative Parliamentary Group has previously voiced its opposition to restoring the tax threshold to 90,000 euros per annum. 

The Finnish government decided two years ago to lower the threshold to 72,300 euros for 2016 and 2017. Unless the three ruling parliamentary groups can reach an agreement on extending the tax, which effectively raises the income tax rate for individuals in the highest tax bracket by two percentage points, the threshold will rise back to 90,000 euros as per the recommendation of the Ministry of Finance.

The National Coalition has urged the government to stand by its earlier decision.

“I think we should proceed according to plan. The solidarity tax threshold was lowered temporarily and now we’ll return to normal,” Jukka Kopra, a deputy chairperson of the National Coalition Parliamentary Group, said to Helsingin Sanomat on 13 August.

Kopra described the demands to extend the tax as populist and reminded that the solidarity tax is part of a series of temporary measures designed to improve the competitiveness and financial standing of Finland. “The solidarity tax is part of this package, and we should respect the time limits,” he stated.

Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, has estimated that the solidarity tax can be abolished only in the event that tax concessions are introduced also for low and middle-income earners.

The Centre Party on Tuesday voiced its reservations about the idea of adopting additional tax concessions and argued that any additional revenues should be used to cut back on borrowing. Sipilä added, however, that if new tax concessions were to be introduced, they should be targeted at low and middle-income earners.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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