Ministry of Transport and Communications on Budget Proposal: EUR 25 Million Worth of Railway Funds Missing

News article 26.08.2011 23.30 fi sv en

For the most part, the Ministry of Finance's 2012 budget proposal for the Ministry of Transport and Communications matches the draft budget submitted by the Ministry itself. "However, the budget proposal by the Ministry of Finance does not include the EUR 35 million increase for the maintenance of the railway network agreed upon in government negotiations, but only accounts for an increase of EUR 10 million", states Minister of Transport Merja Kyllönen.

"VR (the Finnish railway company) has invested in safety of transport and reliability of service. It is necessary for the state to perform its share to promote the fluidity of rail traffic. Lower speed limits have been imposed on some 15% or 800 kilometres of the railways due to the poor condition of the network. Recent delays in long-distance rail traffic have been caused by infrastructure that has deteriorated with the years. I will see to it that the entry made in the Government Programme is put into action", assures Minister Kyllönen.

"Another important concern for me is maintaining government aid for private roads on this year's level at EUR 23 million. The funding for private roads is of particular importance in Eastern and Northern Finland, where the significance of agriculture and forestry is vast. The proposal by the Ministry of Finance is EUR 13 million. The launch of development projects for new roads is well catered for by the proposal from the Ministry of Finance", states Kyllönen.

The construction of the national broadband network continues. A support package of EUR 11 million is proposed for broadband projects for sparsely populated areas. "The broadband initiative is used to promote employment and improve living conditions in rural areas. In the autumn, we will evaluate the progress of the initiative and adjust its course if necessary", concludes Minister of Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru.

Reductions made by the Ministry of Finance to the draft budget submitted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications amounted to a total of EUR 41 million.