Preparations of the government structural reform programme move forward
(Translation. Originally published in Finnish on 25 September 2013.)
At the end of August, the Government adopted a structural reform programme geared to boost the growth potential of the economy and reduce the sustainability gap. The structural reform aims at bridging the severe financing gap of public services and benefits. The Government seeks to boost the employment rate, economic growth and productivity of public service provision. The programme consists of reforms which together are to close the sustainability gap.
Further preparations of the programme will be carried out in working groups consisting of experts from the ministries. The preparatory work will be coordinated by a steering group led by State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Martti Hetemäki. Other members will be State Secretary of the Prime Ministers Office, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Erkki Virtanen, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Anita Lehikoinen, and Director General Jukka Pekkarinen of the Ministry of Finance. Senior Financial Adviser Mikko Spolander of the Ministry of Finance will serve as the group's secretary.
The steering group is to see to that the Government will have discussed measures specified in the structural reform programme and decided on their implementation by the end of November 2013. The steering group is to provide the Government with an assessment on the overall impacts of the outlined measures at the end of November. It will also report on steps taken to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy chaired by the Prime Minister.
Some decisions will be made as soon as possible before the end of November, for example, hand in hand with the supplementary budget proposal.
Stages and timeframe
13 September 2013 Ministries have submitted their plans on the implementation of preparations to the steering group.
17 September 2013 Plans on the preparations have been presented to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy.
4 October 2013 Ministries responsible for the preparatory work on individual measures of the programme will submit a presentation on the situation of preparations to the steering group by 4 October.
16 October 2013 Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy
30 October 2013 Based on the proposal by the steering group chaired by State Secretary Hetemäki, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy will give, as necessary, guidelines directing further preparations.
15 November 2013 Ministries will submit their final proposals on measures to the steering group by mid November. The proposals will include an implementation plan and assessments on the proposals' impacts on appropriations and on the sustainability of public finances.
19 November 2013 Government discussion on a supplementary government proposal on the 2014 budget proposal. The supplementary proposal will include possible amendments to the 2014 budget proposal arising from the structural reform package.
28 November 2013 Government discussion. The Government will make the remaining decisions on measures relating to the structural reform programme. The guidelines of the programme for the coming years will be included in the spending limits decisions to be made in spring 2014. The Government will assess the adequacy of agreed measures in closing the sustainability gap and begin the planning of further measures as necessary.
Materials available at vn.fi/etusivu/rakenneuudistus/Rakenneuudistus/en.jsp
The reform involves nearly all ministries. In the structural reform programme, the ministry bearing the main responsibility is mentioned first in conjunction with each policy measure. The ministries' websites will provide information on discussion sessions and decisions relating to the preparations carried out in their administrative branches.
The Government Communications Department coordinates communications relating to the structural reform programme. The Government's and ministries' materials relating to the reform are available at vn.fi/etusivu/rakenneuudistus/Rakenneuudistus/en.jsp as soon as they are published.