Finland Plans To Raise Taxes On The Wealthy To Cover Refugee Costs

On Thursday, the center-right government in Finland proposed a plan to increase taxes on capital gains, as well as on those who have higher incomes. Finland’s finance minister said that the money would help cover the costs of migrants that are coming into Finland.

Finland’s finance minister, Alexander Stubb, said that the highest bracket of capital gains tax would increase by a percent. According to the Irish Independent, people who earn more than €72,300 ($81,950) will have to pay a solitary tax for two years. Previously, €90,000 ($102,000) was the limit.

Stubb said that the expenses of immigration in Finland are expected to rise to around €114 million. Finland needed to find a way to cover some of the expenses related to immigration and the measures that were proposed would partly cover those expenses.

Last week, Finland increased its estimate for the number of immigrants seeking asylum this year. Finland is expecting around 30,000 asylum seekers this year along, and that is compared to just 3,600 last year, according to Reuters.

There have been a few accusations that Finland’s poor and middle class have been hit the hardest by government policies, and the latest tax proposals may be aimed at countering those accusations. Stubb said that the policies are designed to restore trust in Finland’s economy.

Aside from the tax proposals, members of Finland’s parliament will have to take a week vacation and they won’t get paid for it.

According to Bloomberg, not only did Finland’s government announce plans to increase tax on capital gains and higher earners, but it announced that it had plans to raise taxes elsewhere. Finland’s government said that taxes would be raised on housing, as well as tobacco and some fuels.

Juha Sipilä, Finland’s Prime Minister, said that he hopes Finland will set an example as the refugee crisis grows in Europe. Finland’s leader even offered his home as shelter to a few displaced refugees. Erkki Liikanen, Finland’s central bank chief, also said that he would help the most vulnerable refugees and that he would donate a month’s worth of salary, according to Quartz.

Petter Stordalen, a Norwegian billionaire, has also offered to help with the refugee crisis. He runs a hotel chain called Nordic Choice Hotels, and he said he was willing to house refugees in his hotel chain. The billionaire has already taken in 50 refugees within the last two weeks, and he said that he will provide 5,000 free nights to the ones who need it.

[Image by Janne Hellsten/Flickr]

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