Minister Harakka: Investments in road management, eastern Finland and Helsinki

Press release 02.09.2022 14.14 fi sv en

Budget 2023 (Photo: Finnish Government)

The Government has agreed on its budget proposal for 2023. The budget includes a set of measures to strengthen the vitality of eastern Finland. More than half of the measures are the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. EUR 31 million will be allocated for improving the Karelia rail line in northern and southern Karelia and in Kymenlaakso. A EUR 13 million project to repair the railway bridge in Syrjäsalmi will also be implemented in 2023.

The aim is to improve the flow of traffic on the Karelia rail line, reduce the repair backlog and improve the punctuality and safety of transport. “All the projects now agreed on are line with the national transport system plan and will improve the accessibility of eastern Finland,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

Investments in public transport services in Helsinki

In addition to the Karelia rail line, the public transport services in Helsinki and the industrial investments in northern Finland will be strengthened. 

In accordance with the land use, housing and transport (MAL) agreement for the Greater Helsinki area, a budget authority of EUR 105 million is proposed for building the light rail line on Vihdintie road. The allocation for 2023 will amount to around EUR 10 million.

-“In addition to the Raide-Jokeri light rail line, a further improvement to the public transport services in Helsinki will be the western tram line. The fixed-term removal of the valued added tax for public transport will benefit Helsinki Region Transport the most and relieve the pressure of increasing the ticket prices,” Minister Harakka says.

A total of EUR 30 million is proposed for the Poikkimaantie road project in Oulu, which requires Stora Enso’s decision to invest in a factory, and EUR 2.6 million is proposed for the Hyryntie motorway project in Kuhmo. Altogether EUR 3.5 million will be allocated for continuing the intensified maintenance of the Seinäjoki–Kaskinen railway in 2023.

Rise in costs to be considered in projects and basic transport infrastructure management

The rise in the cost level will also affect the ongoing transport projects, which is why the need for an increase in budget authorisations will be assessed in connection with the autumn supplementary budget proposal and the amendment to the proposal.

To compensate for the direct impacts of higher costs, EUR 50 million in additional funding is proposed for basic transport infrastructure management. The appropriation level for basic transport infrastructure management, increased by EUR one billion and covering the whole government term, will remain valid and the EUR 15 million cut in basic transport infrastructure management, proposed in spring, is cancelled. 

Investments in cyber security

The budget includes an increase of EUR 56 million in ensuring cyber security across public administration, which was agreed on in spring, as well as an appropriation of EUR 6 million for the cyber security voucher for businesses and communities.

-“I am pleased that the plans for improving cyber security that were made over a year ago will now be implemented. The timing is right, because the security situation calls for preparedness,” Minister Harakka says.

What’s next?

The Government will deliberate the budget proposal on 19 September 2022.

Inquiries:

llkka Hamunen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 478 1027, ilkka.hamunen@gov.fi