|www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english||print | close window|
More money to be spent on security during EU Presidency
Surplus from additional budget to be used to reduce national debt
The government proposes an addition of EUR 12 million to be used to cover the expenses caused by Finland's upcoming turn at the rotating EU Presidency.
EUR 6.5 million would be used on security measures, such as improved border control and hiring newly-graduated police officers as additional security staff for the EU meetings.
Further funding is also needed for organising the supplementary EU summit in Lahti in October. The security measures of the Lahti meeting are likely to need a further appropriation from the autumn's additional budget as well.
Before Monday's proposal, a EUR 50 million price tag had been pronounced in connection with Finland's six-month stint at the EU helm.
The accession was included in this year's first additional budget, on which the government decided on Monday.
According to the Minister of Finance Eero Heinäluoma (SDP), only bare necessities were included in the budget addition in order to ensure some latitude in the autumn as well.
The year's tax revenue is once again greater than predicted. The additional budget proposal is EUR 346 million in surplus, and the government proposes the excess be used to pay off some of the national debt.
The government also proposes EUR 170 million be added to the state pension fund.
According to Heinäluoma, the state pension fund is clearly dragging behind compared to the private and the municipal sectors.
The greatest individual expense item in the additional budget is the new oil spill recovery vessel, priced at EUR 35 million. The financing of this will be spread over three years.
Of all transportation undertakings, the refitting of the Ilmala railway marshalling yards has been estimated as the most urgent. During the winter's severe frosts the yard suffered from maintenance problems, which in turn resulted in delays to rail traffic across the whole country.