Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, has revealed that further measures to improve the employment situation are under consideration.
Orpo on Tuesday stated in a press conference that he has asked three permanent state secretaries to review the employment measures outlined by the government and to devise additional measures with a positive short-term impact on the employment situation in Finland.
The task force is headed by Martti Hetemäki, the permanent state secretary at the Ministry of Finance, and also includes his counterparts from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
“We can’t give up yet,” underscored Orpo. “Getting the 250,000 people who have been unemployed – some for a long time – back into employment is absolutely a question that’ll determine our fate.”
Orpo estimated that the situation has improved since the latest recession in that the variety of job vacancies has increased and that job vacancies are also found outside the largest population centres.
“We’re really in a situation where there are job openings all across Finland. Labour market matching is no longer as big a problem as it was when we emerged from the recession and there were openings in Helsinki, the capital region and in and around larger cities, but not in the provinces,” he argued.
He pointed out that the ranks of the unemployed have not decreased as rapidly as employment statistics would suggest because a number of those who have returned to the labour force have done so from outside the ranks of the unemployed.
The Finnish government, he also estimated, should pursue a tax solution that keeps taxes on wage earners and the self-employed in check and generates additional revenues by means of environmental and Pigouvian taxes.
“I’ll propose to the government’s ministerial working group that labour and income taxes won’t increase for anyone next year. I think that’d be a smart tax policy direction.”
“We’ll steer behaviour and consumption in a more environment-friendly and sustainable direction. I think adopting and committing to such a blue-green tax reform would be smart tax policy making,” commented Orpo.
The Ministry of Finance will unveil its budget proposal for 2019 on Thursday. The Finnish government, in turn, will hold its budget session between 28 and 29 August.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi