Supplementary budget funds for COVID-19 vaccines, unemployment security and support for children, young people and families
In the first supplementary budget for 2021, the Government proposes that appropriations be granted to the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health for COVID-19 vaccine procurement, unemployment security, and services for children, young people and families, among other things.
Additional funds for COVID-19 vaccines
The Government proposes an additional EUR 70 million for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
Finland procures COVID-19 vaccines through the EU joint procurement. In the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, procurement decisions must be made within the timetable set by the European Commission, and it is not possible to depart from this timetable. The additional appropriation will ensure that Finland has the opportunity to take part in the possible new rounds of vaccine procurement under the EU joint procurement agreement.
Exceptions to unemployment security to be extended
The Government proposes to extend the exceptions to the unemployment security. The current exceptions will remain in place until the end of March 2021. The Government proposes that the exceptions continue until the end of June 2021. A total of EUR 61 million would be reserved for this purpose. Of that sum, EUR 13 million would be allocated for the increased exempt amount of the unemployment benefit and EUR 48 million for the temporary right of entrepreneurs to labour market support.
The increased exempt amount of the unemployment benefit would be extended until the end of June 2021. Thus, the amount would be EUR 500 per month instead of the normal amount of EUR 300 (i.e., EUR 465 per four calendar weeks instead of EUR 279).
The aim is to secure the livelihoods of employees in a situation where people are laid off or lose their jobs due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the economy.
For more information about the exceptions, see the following press release issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (available in Finnish and Swedish):
The Government also proposes that the temporary right of entrepreneurs to labour market support be extended. The act concerning the temporary right of entrepreneurs to labour market support is to remain in force until the end of June 2021.
For more information about the temporary right of entrepreneurs to labour market support, see the following press release issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Discretionary government grant for supporting children, young people and families
The Government proposes additional funding of EUR 17.5 million to support children, young people and families. Funds would be allocated to social welfare services which help children, young people and families cope with everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds would also be allocated to mental health services for children and young people.
The aim is to ensure sufficient, effective and timely services in these exceptional circumstances and to prevent social problems, for example.
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 410 (general questions)
Timo Lehtinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 387 (general questions)
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 338 (general questions)
Mikko Staff, Director of Finance, tel. +358 295 163 214 (general questions)