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Paavo Arhinmäki and Merja Kyllönen of the Left Alliance walked out of the Government in the midst of last year's framework session. No such drama is expected on Tuesday.The development of the national economy will yet again be under scrutiny on Tuesday as the Government convenes for its final framework session to confirm the spending limits for the upcoming electoral term.

With the electoral term inching closer to its end, however, the framework budget will include no political decisions on public revenue and expenditure.

Instead, the Government will simply lay out the current revenue and expense streams as well as examine the effects of the current legislative environment on them. Although it is likely that the framework will be rubber-stamped with little discussion, the Government has allocated all of Tuesday for the session.

As an indication of this, Minister of Finance Antti Rinne (SDP) has announced that he will be campaigning alongside the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, in Pori already on Tuesday afternoon. The left-wing policy-makers will knock on doors in the neighbourhood of Gammelbacka.

The state of the national economy was subject to scrutiny on a number of fronts last week.

Senior officials at the Ministry of Finance presented their grim estimate of the measures required to balance the national economy on Thursday, estimating that public and municipal spending must be reduced by a total of six billion euros over the next four years due to weaker-than-anticipated economic growth.

The national economy has been running a deficit since 2009 as public spending has continued to grow despite non-existent economic growth.

Another framework session will be held after next month's parliamentary elections to allow the new Government to devise a budget framework including political decisions on public revenue and expenses. The technical framework set for approval tomorrow, in turn, will serve as a basis for the government negotiations and allow political parties to assess the state of the national economy.

The Ministry of Finance is scheduled to unveil its revised – likely downgraded – growth forecast before Easter, on 2 April. In December, it forecast that the national economy will expand by 0.9 per cent this year.

Katja Boxberg – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Photo: Seppo Solmela

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