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Petri Honkonen, a deputy chairperson of the Centre Party, was photographed at a party meeting in Nokia, Pirkanmaa, on 4 August 2020. (Kalle Parkkinen – Lehtikuva)

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PETRI HONKONEN, a deputy chairperson of the Centre Party, has estimated that three goals rise above the others as the government continues preparing for the budget session set for this autumn.

Honkonen on Monday argued that the government must continue its effort to manage the coronavirus epidemic, refrain from postponing decisions on employment measures and adopt firm policies to combat poverty, inequalities and non-inclusion.

The goals, he clarified, do not include reducing the use of peat for energy production.

Both the Green League and Left Alliance have recently expressed their support for raising the tax levied on peat as a step toward decreasing its use in energy production by at least 50 per cent by 2030, an objective laid down in the government programme.

“Peat, for instance, is not among the most urgent issues, especially given that we have all agreed on a plan for peat. It is the special duty of the prime minister to foster the government’s decision-making ability, but there it is justified to expect that all ruling parties focus on the essential,” said Honkonen.

He gauged that keeping the coronavirus epidemic under control will require particularly that the shortcomings in the testing system are addressed.

“We need collaboration between the public sector, private sector and research institutes. We can’t afford to have any ideological obstacles to utilising the private sector’s resources. If new restrictions become necessary, they should primarily be regional,” he said.

Honkonen reminded that the need to create jobs for job seekers remains urgent. It is incomprehensible, he added, that some coalition partners have proposed that decisions on employment measures be postponed in circumstances where hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off, temporarily or permanently, and the outlook for exports is bleak.

The government should take action especially to improve the operating environment of export-oriented businesses and tackle youth unemployment.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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