Budget bingo

Prior to the parliamentary election, various parties announced their guesses/estimates on the distribution allowance, a term for how much the next government can spend above previously budgeted money. The new government's answer has now been announced and it's 3.1 billion euros. That figure is considerably less than the 4-5 billion euros advertised by the Centre Party and considerably more than the National Coalition Party's conservative estimate of one billion euros. On the other hand, the sum is very close to the Ministry of Finance's pre-election estimate of three billion euros. Score one for the technocrats, I guess. However, whereas the MoF proposed putting most of the three billion into paying off debts, the government will put 1.8 billion euros into net tax cuts and 1.3 billion euros into net spending increases. So score one for the politicians.

It should be noted that there's some vagueness on what is counted in the distribution allowance. For example, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen of the Centre claimed on his blog (fi) that the MoF's estimate was close to the Centre's figure, because the MoF's estimate didn't include previously agreed tax cuts and spending increases totaling about 1.8 billion euros.

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