Budget planning

According to budget plans released this week, increases in pensions, student aid, and single parents' child allowance will be implemented during the next year and a half. The government also wants (fi) to cut state dept by 1'145 million euros. And about those tax cuts... They're still coming, but you may have to wait a while before they get here. Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen (National Coalition Party) cited fears about economic overheating as the reason to move them to the end of the government's term.

The opposition has focused on on the government plan to do away with free full-time daycare for low-income parents. The Green League appears to have gone wobbly on that point. Freshly reelected (fi) party leader, Labor Minister Tarja Cronberg claimed that no decision has been made. Parliamentary faction chair Anni Sinnemäki went further, saying (fi) that the Greens don't accept the planned changes. Katainen has defended the plan, noting that part-time daycare will remain free and describing the new fee as small. Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre Party) promised on Saturday that the issue will be examined further.

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