Finland must put an end to the accumulation of public debt during the next two years, underlines Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance.
The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday unveiled the outlines of its 55.1-billion-euro budget proposal for next year, estimating that the proposal would increase the central government debt burden to 109 billion euros.
“That’s quite a high number,” Orpo summarised in a press conference at the Government Palace in Helsinki. “We can’t be in such a strong economic position and let future generations pick up the tab.”
Although 55.1 billion euros is one billion euros less than budgeted for this year, next year’s budget would continue to show a deficit of 1.7 billion euros. The Ministry of Finance highlights, however, that the budget deficit has dropped sharply from the 6.6 billion euros it was when the government took office in 2015.
The Ministry of Finance also reiterated that it expects the national economy to grow by roughly three per cent year-on-year in 2018 and by two per cent in 2019.
Orpo pointed out that economic growth is expected to continue slowing down as population ageing begins to intensify in the early 2020s.
“We know how difficult the 2020s will be. In the middle of all this contentment, I think we have to say this openly and honestly and challenge all decision makers and preparatory workers to push us to a surplus even sooner, so that we can start building the famous buffers for a rainier day,” he commented.
The Ministry of Finance will publish its budget proposal in full today on Thursday.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi