Katainen on taxes

Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen (National Coalition Party) has been outlining his tax policy plans in recent days. The news is good for old folks:

[Katainen] was quoted as saying by regional daily Turun Sanomat on Sunday that tax rates faced by pensioners would be brought to the level of those levied from wage-earners next year.

Mr Katainen told the paper that tax cuts beyond the levelling move could be expected only at the end of the four-year legislative period. [...]

The tax cut outlined by the minister would apply to pensioners claiming between 13,000 and 31,000 euros a year who currently pay more tax than wage-earners do. The estimated tax revenue loss would be about 200 million euros.

People who buy or sell food have to wait a bit longer:
[Katainen] told commercial broadcaster Channel Four Finland (Nelonen) on Sunday that the government would probably not cut the VAT rate on food at the beginning of 2009, adding a tax cut of about 550 million euros would be implemented later.

In addition he repeated the usual talk about the importance of avoiding overheating and amortizing debt while the going is good. None of this is all that controversial, but pushing back the food VAT cuts isn't going to be popular with the Centre Party, which has been promising those cuts to its food producing supporters for a long time.

To get back to the Rosenholz affair - you knew it was coming - Katainen has defended (fi) fellow Coalitionist Interior Minister Anne Holmlund. Katainen also opined that the Security Police's Stasi material can be made public if it doesn't endanger Finland's opportunities to acquire intelligence information from international sources. Given that Denmark and Germany have already taken the step, I suspect the danger is rather minor.

Update: Oh, and the limit for tax-free inheritance will go up (fi) to 20'000 euros from the start of the next year.

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