null Government supplementary budget proposal provides funding for new transport projects, cyber security and transport support

Government supplementary budget proposal provides funding for new transport projects, cyber security and transport support

Press release 27.05.2021 14.09 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Photo: Government Communications Department)

The Government submitted a third supplementary budget proposal for 2021 to Parliament on 27 May. Proposed additional appropriations include funds allocated to the purview of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for new transport projects, cyber security and support for transport due to the coronavirus situation.

The supplementary budget also seeks to initiate reforms and investment under the European Union recovery instrument.

“We shall rebuild bridges in Parainen and invest in the Kymi and Kemi-Haparanda rail connections. The most important investments for the future include Digirail development and cyber security, which I also expect to generate new export business,” explains Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications.

Government committed to promoting better information security and data protection

The supplementary budget negotiations included an entry concerning cyber security. The Government is committed to promoting better information security and data protection in critical sectors of society. The necessary public authority resources will be assessed in the context of budget deliberations from 2022 onwards.

The third amending budget for 2021 allocates EUR 1 million to investment in cyber security research and EUR 1 million to cyber security training as part of the national Recovery and Resilience Plan. EUR 1 million of national funding will also be allocated for implementing the cyber security programme.

Funding will also be provided for enhancing the quality and availability of communication networks and developing an electronic heavy transport ecosystem as part of the national Recovery and Resilience Plan.

EUR 50,000 will be allocated for enhancing the quality and availability of communication networks. The goal is to improve the quality and availability of communications in areas of Finland where advanced communications are not built commercially, and to co-ordinate broadband investment.

EUR 3.5 million will be allocated to developing an electronic heavy transport ecosystem.

New transport projects launched

EUR 3 million will be set aside as part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan together with EUR 2 million in national funding for the development and verification stage of the Digirail project, which seeks to digitalise rail transport. The Digirail project will also reform the access control system for trains and ensure their safe operation in future. Digirail is a particularly profitable investment, as it enhances use of current rail capacity, improves service quality, and supports the achievement of transport emission reduction targets.

Besides Digirail, new transport projects include electrifying the Laurila – Tornio – Haparanda link and rebuilding the Kirjalansalmi and Hessundinsalmi bridges on Highway 180. A total expenditure authorisation of EUR 268 million has been proposed for new projects.

A proposal seeks an increase of EUR 33.5 million in the authorisation for upgrading the Kouvola – Kotka/Hamina railway line.

EUR 50 million in financing of basic road maintenance will be brought forward from 2022 to the current year. The Government agreed this at its mid-term policy review session in April.

An appropriation of EUR 6 million is proposed for capitalising the Eastern railway line project company. Central government and municipal negotiators have reached an agreement on establishing a project company to promote planning of the Eastern railway line. The operating sector and mission of the project company would be to plan and finance the Lentorata-Porvoo-Kouvola railway line project until the line is ready for construction.

Coronavirus support for transport

An appropriation of EUR 23.15 million is proposed to support the operation of cargo and passenger vessel shipping companies. The purpose of this support is to ensure and promote the adequacy of maritime transport in the ongoing coronavirus situation. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) has granted similar support to shipping companies since September 2020.

A further EUR 22.8 million is proposed for public transport purchases in large and medium-sized urban areas and in regional and local transport.

An appropriation of EUR 11 million is proposed for passenger train transport purchases due to prolongation of the coronavirus situation

A general increase of EUR 5 million will also be made to cover Traficom operating expenses.

Inquiries:

Ilkka Hamunen, Special Adviser, Transport, tel. +358 50 478 1027

Tino Aalto, Special Adviser, cyber security, tel. +358 50 436 9188

Sanna Ruuskanen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 376 2377