Finland’s Tax Policy: A Balance Between Wealth And Welfare
Riikka Purra, Finland’s Finance Minister, has recently dismissed claims that the government’s tax policy is skewed towards the country’s wealthiest citizens. She pointed to the work income deduction of €100 million that is slated for the coming year, which is primarily targeted at low- and middle-income earners. Additionally, she highlighted the increase in the minimum threshold for the solidarity tax, a move that will cost about €60 million. These measures combined amount to a total tax relief of €160 million.
Rising Thresholds And Tax Relief
The solidarity tax, often dubbed as the “envy tax,” is set to see a significant increase, rising from €85,800 to €150,000 per annum. This tax was first introduced in 2013 and without the recent decision by the government, it would have been abolished. The most significant tax reduction, both in terms of percentage and in euro, will be for those earning €14,000 per month or €175,000 a year. These individuals will see a decrease of €2,280 in their taxes next year.
Aim To Correct Structural Imbalance
Purra defended the government’s decision to save on various benefits, arguing that Finland currently has the spending of a Nordic system but lacks the necessary income to sustain it. The minister emphasized the need to correct the system’s structural imbalance by making savings on the income transfer side.
Reform In The Face Of Opposition
There has been widespread opposition to the government’s actions from all sectors of society that benefit from tax-funded support. Purra argues that this response indicates an overly inflated system where taxpayer money is being used excessively for various purposes. The economic situation in Finland looks so weak, according to Purra, that the country will fall into the European Commission’s jaws when reforming fiscal rules.
Looking Ahead: The Government Budget Proposal
The government’s budget proposal for the next year shows a deficit of €11.5 billion. This significant shortfall will be covered by taking on new debt. The budget proposal reflects the government’s efforts to balance the country’s economic health with social welfare priorities. While it is clear that the government is making strides to rectify the situation, the coming year will be crucial in determining the success of these efforts.
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