Finland to raise taxes on high earners to cover cost of refugees
Finland's centre-right government on Thursday proposed to increase taxes on capital gains and on those with higher incomes, money its finance minister said would help cover the costs of migrants coming into the country.
The move may also counter accusations that the budget is e largely hitting the poor and middle class.
Finance minister Alexander Stubb said the highest bracket of capital gains tax would be raised by one percentage point while those earning more than €72,300 would be required to pay a so-called solidarity tax for two years. The limit previously was €90,000.
The budgetary measures proposed today will partly cover the higher expenses of immigration which are estimated to rise to 114 million euros this year, he said.
The total budget for 2016 would amount to €54.1bn with a budget deficit of €5bn.
The parliamentarians would also pitch in the effort to save money, with all 200 members taking an unpaid holiday for a week, while all government ministers will forgo one week's pay.
The government on Tuesday presented labour market reforms including reductions in holidays to boost competitiveness in the sputtering economy. This prompted a hostile reaction from trade unions who saw the plan to implement the reforms by force as a rebuff of Finland's traditional consensus politics.
Finland's economy is shrinking for a fourth year in a row due to weak demand from European and Russian markets and problems affecting its main export industries including technology.