The Government Programme is mainly implemented
The Government Programme of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen consists of more than 900 entries and the majority of them, 86 per cent, has been implemented. The Government's policy is to ensure the sustainability of public finances, boost economic growth, improve employment and extend working careers, and prevent the growth of poverty, inequality and exclusion. On 10 April, the Government assessed the situation with regard to the implementation of the Government Programme.
During its term, the Government has adopted a range of measures with immediate impact to reduce central government expenditure and increase revenue, which will have a net impact at 2017 prices of around EUR 6.8 billion, i.e. 3% of GDP. The structural policy programme, adopted by the Government in August 2013, is a key part of efforts to close the sustainability gap. Structural reforms to enhance economic growth and the employment rate were fostered in connection with decisions on the general government fiscal plan on 3 April 2014. An important structural policy package moved forward in March 2014 when the Government and the opposition parties reached agreement on the overall reform of social welfare and health care services. A large-scale structural reform of the defence forces has been initiated during the current government term.
The Government has cut corporate income tax, revised the dividend taxation system and launched a housing policy review to encourage regional labour mobility, with special emphasis on the greater Helsinki area. The Government's social guarantee for young people plays a central role in efforts to prevent exclusion. Right at the beginning of its term, the Government also introduced considerable improvements in basic social security. Measures targeted at the long-term unemployed and those partially able work have been accelerated. In 2014, measures to speed up the employment of unemployed people have been further increased.
The Act on Care Services for the Elderly has been passed during the ongoing government term. A government report on transport policy has been submitted. Several measures have been taken to combat the shadow economy. A social contract on sustainable has been made. Forest legislation has been comprehensively reviewed and the Environmental Protection Act overhauled. A government proposal on the Non-Discrimination Act was submitted recently.
Out of the Government's key reforms, the Local Government Structure Act entered into force on 1 July 2013 and approximately half of the Finnish municipalities are investigating the possibilities of a municipal merger. The preparation of a metropolitan act is under way. The Government will continue legislative work to reform early childhood education and care, labour force service centres and working life. The reforms of the Alcohol Act and the Social Welfare Act are also to be finalised by the end of the government term.
Inquiries: Olli-Pekka Heinonen, State Secretary, tel. + 358 295 160 280, Prime Minister's Office