Supplementary budget funds for a coronavirus vaccine, testing, income security, and support for children, young people, families and the elderly
In the fourth supplementary budget, the Government proposes appropriations to be granted to the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to be used for unemployment security, for purchasing a coronavirus vaccine, for coronavirus testing, social assistance and social services for children, young people and families, among other things.
Additional funds for a coronavirus vaccine and testing
The Government is preparing to purchase a coronavirus vaccine and proposes funding of EUR 110 million for this.
The Government also proposes additional funding for the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Funds would be allocated to coronavirus testing, to increase testing capacity, and to other additional work arising from the pandemic.
Support for children, young people, families and the elderly
The Government proposes funding for a wellbeing programme for children and young people. Central government transfers to municipalities in the amount of EUR 112.3 million would be used to support children, young people and families in the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus. The Government proposes that funding be used for providing low-threshold services for families, social services for children and families, and mental health services for children and young people. This would enable social problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic to be tackled and would ensure effective operation of support services for children, young people and families. The amount would be distributed to municipalities according to the number of children and young people.
In addition, the Government proposes additional funding of EUR 60 million to ensure services for the elderly. Funds will be allocated to remote and home rehabilitation services for home care clients, measures to support wellbeing and functional capacity in 24 hour care, and special support for families with informal care arrangements.
To alleviate the financial distress caused by the coronavirus crisis, the Government proposes a fixed-term improvement in basic social assistance between 1 August and 31 December 2020. An appropriation of EUR 60 million has been allocated for the improvement.
Additional funding will be allocated to the Finnish Student Health Service FSHS to ensure the wellbeing of higher education students and study progress. This funding will help allocate more support resources for student wellbeing in FSHS locations.
Additional funding for unemployment security and employment promotion
The Government proposes an increase of EUR 812 million in the central government’s share of unemployment security.
Support in the amount of EUR 600 million would be provided to the Employment Fund. With this funding, the central government would contribute to the financing of earnings-related allowances paid during lay-off. The proposal is based on an unexpected spike in the Employment Fund’s expenses which can be attributed to the increase in the number of lay-offs and persons laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Additional temporary state financing is proposed to cover the benefit expenditure falling under the responsibility of unemployment funds in conditions of exceptional expenditure growth. This would increase the central government’s costs by EUR 40 million. The legislation required for this additional financing will be prepared jointly by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, social partners and representatives of unemployment funds.
Extending the temporary changes to unemployment security until the end of 2020 would increase unemployment security expenditure by a total of EUR 123.5 million.
The Government also proposes funding to workplaces to make them better equipped to support the health of employees, especially their mental health, and for avoiding unnecessarily prolonged sickness absences and enhancing unemployed people’s working abilities and employment opportunities.
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 410 (general questions)
Timo Lehtinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 387 (general questions)
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 338 (general questions)
Mikko Staff, Director of Finance, tel. +358 295 163 214 (general questions)
Heli Backman, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 668 (general questions, social insurance)
Susanna Grimm-Vikman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 172 (unemployment benefit)