The Finnish government has outlined new measures to improve the country’s employment rate and economy.
At the autumn budget session, the government set the goal of completing measures to strengthen public finances and promote employment by mid-February.
The Finnish Minister of Labor spoke at a press conference on Friday Tuula Haatainen (SDP) said sustainable development is a key goal.
"The measures will improve educational attainment and skills, strengthen the well-being of students and workers, and remove incentive traps for over-indebted households. Finding workers is currently the biggest challenge in the labor market," Haatainen stated.
The Ministry of Finance estimates that the package will bring additional income of EUR 110 million to the economy and increase the workforce by 5,100 people.
Changes in unemployment benefits, study grants
The new measures include changes to earnings-related unemployment benefits. Currently, applicants can only earn earnings-related benefits if they work at least 18 hours a week for 26 months.
The new system is based on monthly income instead of hours and is estimated to generate € 54 million and 1,500 additional jobs.
"This acts as an incentive and change encourages people to take up casual work more often," Haatainen said.
The government has also decided to permanently increase the income ceiling for student grants, ie student grants, by 50 per cent from the beginning of next year.
The transfer is expected to bring EUR 12.7 million into the Finnish economy and increase the workforce by 2,500 people.
"Students help alleviate labor shortages," said Haatainen, who previously served as Minister of Education and Minister of Social Affairs and Health.
Other measures include changes in the wage subsidy granted by the government to employers to cover the expenses of an unemployed jobseeker, which will take effect from 2023 onwards.
The state also plans to provide additional assistance to debtors by extending foreclosure and repayment periods (during which mortgage payments are suspended) and improving social security for artists.
In addition, it will increase funding for student mental health services.
Source: The Nordic Page