The appropriations proposed in the draft 2013 budget for the Ministry of Employment and the Economy's administrative sector total EUR 3,809 million. Key priorities in the draft budget include promoting business that generates high value, and reducing youth and long-term unemployment.
Other key objectives include improving the quality of working life, lowering structural obstacles to competition, and greater energy self-sufficiency. To meet these objectives, MEE allocates resources to the promotion of productivity and competence, as well as the international competitiveness of the economy and regions.
Growth sought in enterprise activities
In the government framework negotiations last spring, a decision was taken on a major EUR 300 million growth package. Growth incentives to be discussed at the budget negotiations, such as a tax incentive for R&D activities, doubled depreciation allowances for investments and a growth incentive for capital investments, would help to build a strong foundation for Finland's future economic growth.
The proposed appropriation for enterprise and innovation policy is EUR 1,795 million; an increase of EUR 520 million compared to the 2012 budget. This increase is largely attributable to the growth of Finnish Export Credit Ltd's loan stock.
The proposed amount for thepayment of export refinancing loans granted in 2009-2012 is EUR 755 million; up EUR 355 million from the previous year's budget. Meanwhile, EUR 185 million is earmarked for the financing of Finnish vessel deliveries. In addition, a proposal is made to raise Finnvera's new, export credit granting authorisation by EUR 300 million, to secure export refinancing in the event of market disruption.
Enterprise and innovation policy actions are designed to help companies seek new business opportunities with better growth potential, and to encourage employees to take up more challenging, better-remunerated positions.
To speed up business growth, Finnvera will increase its risk-taking. State compensation for the credit and guarantee losses generated by start-up and growth companies and companies seeking international growth will be raised to 75 per cent across Finland. This will apply to all of Finnvera's financing products as of the beginning of 2012. In the future, for the purpose of credit and guarantee loss commitments, start-ups will mean companies that have been in operation for three years rather than two, as was the case before.
Employment and enterprise services to be revamped
The proposed appropriation for employment and enterprise policy is EUR 770 million; an increase of almost EUR 44 million from the 2012 budget.
Employment and enterprise services will be revamped at the beginning of 2013 with the objective of securing competent labour supply, ensuring swift employment of jobseekers and encouraging entrepreneurship. This is intended to provide opportunities for new business activities and investments, and to respond to companies' labour force and competence needs.
The appropriation proposed for public employment services is EUR 525 million; an increase of EUR 40 million from the previous year. The appropriation proposed for Employment and Economic Development Offices is roughly EUR 168 million; an increase of over EUR 12 million from the previous year. Two million euros will be allocated to measures to be taken under the letter of intent for promoting employment among immigrants in the capital region, and more than three million to strengthening career counselling resources.
The social guarantee for young people helps young people and new graduates to integrate into the labour market. All jobless people under the age of 25 and new graduates aged under 30 will be offered a job, on-the-job training, a study place, or a period in a workshop or rehabilitation, within three months of becoming unemployed at the latest. The amount set aside for the social guarantee for young people is EUR 60 million.
The sum earmarked for the launch of a municipal trial designed to reduce long-term employment is EUR 20 million. The objective of the municipal trial included in the Government programme is to support the employment of the long-term unemployed, and to reduce unemployment.
More immigrant integration training will be offered, in order to promote integration. The total appropriation proposed for the integration policy is EUR 96 million.
Well-functioning markets ensure business competition and consumer interests
The proposed appropriation for the policy group responsible for business environments, market regulation and working life is EUR 41 million. Together with other ministries, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is implementing a programme launched by the Government to promote healthy competition. The objective is to offer equal competitive conditions for different-sized companies, and to ensure well-functioning markets to protect consumer interests.
Administrative arrangements pertaining to functioning markets include the merger of the Finnish Competition Authority and the Finnish Consumer Agency at the beginning of 2013. As of 1 September 2013, industrial and copyright issues will be handled by the Market Court instead of the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland.
Prevention of the grey economy will continue with preparations for an overall reform of the Act on the Contractor's Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out. In addition, measures already in progress in the beauty care sector and in the restaurant and accommodation sector will be continued.
Additional investment in the production subsidy for renewable energy - appropriations for payments made from structural funds to decrease
The proposed appropriation for regional development and structural fund policy is EUR 479 million;a a decrease of almost EUR 112 million from the 2012 budget. This decrease is related to the administrative trial in Kainuu ending at the end of 2012, which will result in smaller payments from EU structural funds.
The decrease in payments from structural funds is due to the preliminary budgeting of appropriations for previous years, carried out to ensure that total funding for the programme period 2007-2013 remains unchanged. The proposed regional development funds amount to EUR 10 million, the majority of which will be provided as basic funding for the Centre of Expertise Programme (OSKE).
The proposed appropriation for energy policy is EUR 263 million; an increase of EUR 27 million from the 2012 budget. The proposed renewable energy production subsidy is EUR 131 million, EUR 33 million more than in the preceding period. In addition, a legislative amendment is proposed for the production subsidy, which would permit the payment of a supplementary subsidy when forest chips are gasified to make fuel for coal dust boilers.
The draft budget of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy's administrative sector for 2013 was submitted to the Ministry of Finance in May 2012 and published on 8 August 2012, when the Ministry of Finance provided its feedback on the different ministries' draft budgets.