The chairpersons of the political groups on the Vantaa City Council are far from enthusiastic about the city's budget proposal for next year.
Both Lauri Kaira (NCP) and Jaakko Niinistö (PS), however, remain firmly behind the austerity programme advocated by Mayor Kari Nenonen. Niinistö reveals that his group would be prepared to shave 10 million euros off a 100 million euro investment programme to cut back on borrowing.
Kaira, in turn, believes the city can alleviate its economic woes by attracting companies that provide employment and is therefore pleased that Nenonen has refrained from adjusting the municipal tax rate.
On the other hand, Sirkka-Liisa Kähärä (SDP) is concerned that the rising social assistance costs and dwindling tax revenue caused by unemployment will complicate budget-making further. “There's hardly any leeway in the budget proposal, so we're stuck with the austerity programme. It's great that Finavia is making big investments at the airport. Maybe they will show in employment statistics,” she says.
Riikka Åstrand (Greens), in turn, is concerned that the funds earmarked for social welfare and health care services will prove insufficient, pointing out that more manpower is needed especially in child welfare services.
Marja Salomaa – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Photo: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva