Katainen Cabinet

The Katainen Cabinet (June 22, 2011 (2011-06-22)[1]—June 24, 2014) was the 72nd cabinet of Finland, formed as a result of the 2011 post-parliamentary election negotiations between the Finnish parliamentary parties. Led by Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen of the National Coalition Party (NCP), 12 ministers of the 19-minister government represented the NCP and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), while the Left Alliance, the Green League, the Swedish People's Party (RKP) and the Christian Democrats share seven minister portfolios. On June 22, the Parliament confirmed Katainen's election as the Prime Minister and President Tarja Halonen inaugurated the government. Two Left Alliance MPs voted against Katainen, for which they were formally reprimanded by the Left Alliance's parliamentary group (and later expelled from the group).[1][2] On 25 March 2014, the rest of Left Alliance left the cabinet over dispute on a package of spending cuts and tax rises.[3]

Katainen's Cabinet
Flag of Finland.svg
72nd Cabinet of Finland
Jyrki Katainen A4.jpeg
Date formed22 June 2011
Date dissolved24 June 2014
People and organisations
Head of stateTarja Halonen (2011-2012)
Sauli Niinistö (2012-2014)
Head of governmentJyrki Katainen
No. of ministers19
Member partyNational Coalition Party
Social Democratic Party
Green League
Left Alliance (until April 2014)
Swedish People's Party
Christian Democrats
Status in legislature2011-April 2014 Majority
125 / 200 (63%)
April-June 2014 Majority
111 / 200 (56%)
History
Election(s)2011 parliamentary election
Outgoing formationResignation of Jyrki Katainen
PredecessorKiviniemi Cabinet
SuccessorStubb Cabinet

In June 2014 Katainen stepped down as party chairman and Prime Minister of Finland for a new position in the European Union.[4] Katainen was replaced by Alexander Stubb as chairman of the National Coalition Party and thus chosen to be the next Prime Minister. Katainen's cabinet was succeeded by the cabinet of Alexander Stubb on 24 June 2014.

MinistersEdit

The NCP had six ministers in the Cabinet as did the SDP. The Left Alliance, the Green League and the SPP had two ministers each and the Christian Democrats had one.[5] The NCP,[6] SDP,[6] Left Alliance,[6][7] RKP[6] and Christian Democrats[8] announced their propositions for ministerial portfolios during the weekend of June 17—19 and the Green League announced its ministers on June 20.[9]

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
Prime Minister22 June 201124 June 2014 National Coalition
Minister of Finance
Deputy Prime Minister
22 June 20116 June 2014 Social Democratic
6 June 201424 June 2014 Social Democratic
Minister for Foreign Affairs22 June 201124 June 2014 Social Democratic
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade22 June 201124 June 2014 National Coalition
Minister for International Development22 June 201117 October 2013 Green League
17 October 201324 June 2014 Green League
Minister of Justice22 June 201124 June 2014 Swedish People's
Minister of the Interior22 June 201124 June 2014 Christian Democrat
Minister of Defence22 June 20115 July 2012 Swedish People's
5 July 201224 June 2014 Swedish People's
Minister of Public Administration and Local Government22 June 201124 June 2014 National Coalition
Minister of Education and Communications4 April 201424 June 2014 Social Democratic
Minister of Culture and Sport22 June 20114 April 2014 Left Alliance
Minister of Education22 June 201124 May 2013 Social Democratic
24 May 201324 June 2014 Social Democratic
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry22 June 201124 June 2014 National Coalition
Minister of Transport and Local Government22 June 20114 April 2014 National Coalition
Minister of Transport22 June 20114 April 2014 Left Alliance
Minister of Economic Affairs22 June 201116 November 2012 National Coalition
16 November 201224 June 2014 National Coalition
Minister of Labour22 June 201124 June 2014 Social Democratic
Minister of Social Affairs and Health22 June 201124 June 2014 National Coalition
Minister of Health and Social Services22 June 201124 May 2013 Social Democratic
24 May 201324 June 2014 Social Democratic
Minister of the Environment22 June 201124 June 2014 Green League
Minister of Culture and Housing4 April 201424 June 2014 Social Democratic
Minister of Housing and Communications22 June 201124 May 2013 Social Democratic
24 May 201324 June 2014 Social Democratic

[10]

Prior to being appointed minister, Hautala, Haglund and Koskinen were not MPs. Hautala and Haglund were MEPs, while Koskinen was a board member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

ResignationEdit

Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala resigned the government in October 2013. This was linked to Greenpeace demonstrations against petroleum exploration in the Arctic by the Finnish state-owned firm Arctia and Gazprom Prirazlomnoye field in September 2013.[11]

On 25 March 2014, the Left Alliance left the cabinet over a dispute regarding spending cuts and tax increases. Their ministerial portfolios were redistributed among the biggest parties, but no new ministers were appointed. Minister of Public Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen was given the duties of the Minister of Transport, while Minister of Housing and Communications Pia Viitanen became in charge of Culture and Sport.

Government platformEdit

On June 17, the new government announced its platform[12] for the years 2011—2015. Upon its announcement, Helsingin Sanomat highlighted its main points as follows:[13]

EconomyEdit

Budget cuts and tax increasesEdit

  • budget cuts:
  • equalization payments from the state to municipalities: –€ 600 million
  • military spending: –€ 200 million
  • level of development aid will be frozen in 2013 and 2014
  • industrial subsidies: –€ 100 million
  • compensations for costs of medications included in the medical insurance: –€ 100 million
  • increases in taxation:
  • Capital gain tax (e.g. on sales profits, rent income, dividends) will go up to 30 %; the tax will be 32 % on the part exceeding € 50,000 per year (as opposed to the previous flat tax on all capital income)
  • gasoline tax will increase by 10 %
  • taxes on car ownership, alcohol, tobacco, sweets and soft drinks will increase
  • tax-deductibility on interest payments of mortgages will decrease gradually from 100 % down to 75 % by the end of the parliamentary term
  • tax-deductibility on purchased household services (e.g. cleaning) will be reduced to € 2,000 per year
  • a new tax of 9 % will be imposed on subscriptions to newspapers and journals (as opposed to their previous tax-freedom)

Social benefitsEdit

  • Basic Allowance (an optional form of Unemployment Allowance, the other being Earnings-Related Allowance) and the Labour Market Subsidy will increase by €100 per month
  • General Housing Allowance: the rent limit, rendering an allowance-seeker ineligible, will increase
  • Basic part of the Subsistence Benefit will increase by 6%
  • "special support" will be allocated for single parents
  • Study Grant will follow the Finnish cost-of-living index since the autumn of 2014

Municipality reformEdit

  • the new government will implement "large-scale, structural reforms" on municipalities, by forming municipalities accordingly to "the sphere where people come to work to the relevant municipality" and the "vitality" of the municipality; the government will "specify the criteria of the reform" by late 2011

Work careersEdit

  • while regarding "the extension of work careers inevitable for maintaining a sustainable worker—pensioner ratio and balancing state finances", the new government will "prepare work pension policies in cooperation with the key labour market organizations"
  • "special concerns" regard:
  • prevention of work incapacity
  • development of professional skills

European UnionEdit

  • Finland will "strive for participation in key projects of the EU" and "criticism of the EU by the citizens will be taken seriously".

EnergyEdit

  • the new government "is committed not to grant permissions for new nuclear plants, therefore dismissing Fortum's petition to build one"

ImmigrationEdit

  • the government "takes a positive stance on immigration", holding that "immigrants are a permanent and welcome part of the Finnish society"
  • the government considers the assimilation of immigrants and prevention of discrimination "central" during this tenure
  • the government strives for an immigration policy that "supports the build-up of a tolerant, safe and pluralistic Finland and strengthens Finland's international competitiveness"

Finnish Broadcasting CompanyEdit

  • the funding of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yleisradio, YLE) "will be agreed upon during 2011"
  • the government will "reform the funding" as agreed upon by the parliamentary groups in March 2010

AbortionEdit

  • the government "strives for a decrease in abortion rates"
  • the new government will implement a "study on whether the week limit (20) for induced abortion should be altered"; this may "mean that the government considers making abortion laws stricter"
  • the government wants "to secure the counseling of and support for women seeking for abortion"

Geriatric careEdit

  • to secure a standard level for geriatric care, a law on geriatric care will be introduced

Income gapEdit

The gap between the top earners and those worst-off grew during the Katainen Cabinet.[14] The government made many decisions that favored the richest citizens such as the removal of business angel investment taxation. Many tax allowances favored the rich, for example, the household renovation reduction and private retirement funds.

Citizens' initiativesEdit

During Jyrki Katainen's cabinet, the Parliament of Finland received its first citizens' initiatives. The first citizens' initiative aimed to ban fur farming, but it was rejected on 19 June 2013 by a majority vote in the parliament.[15][16] Five more initiatives followed concerning themes such as same-sex marriage, changes to piracy laws and the abolishment of mandatory Swedish.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Uusi hallitus nimitettiin". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma News. Suomen Tietotoimisto. June 22, 2011. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  2. ^ "Mustajärvi ja Yrttiaho ulos vasemmistoliiton eduskuntaryhmästä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma News. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Left Alliance leaves government". YLE. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  4. ^ Viita, Kasper (June 13, 2014). "Finland Prepares for Prime Minister Switch as Katainen Quits". Bloomberg.
  5. ^ "Uuden hallituksen salkkujako". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma News. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d "Perhe? Koulutus? Työkokemus? Tässä ovat uudet ministerimme" (in Finnish). MTV3. June 18, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  7. ^ "Puoluevaltuusto ja eduskuntaryhmä päättävät hallitukseen osallistumisesta" (in Finnish). Left Alliance. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Laitinen, Joonas (June 18, 2011). "Kristillisten Päivi Räsänen ottaa vastuun maahanmuuttoasioista". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma News. Archived from the original on June 19, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "Niinistö ympäristöministeriksi, Hautala kehitysyhteistyöministeriksi" (in Finnish). Yleisradio. 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Composition of a certain government, 72. Katainen". Valtioneuvosto. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  11. ^ Hautala steps down over Greenpeace furore yle 11.10.2013
  12. ^ "Neuvottelutulos hallitusohjelmasta" (PDF) (in Finnish). Cabinet of Finland. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original (pdf) on October 30, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  13. ^ "Hallitusohjelman pääkohdat". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma News. Suomen Tietotoimisto. June 17, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  14. ^ Finnish income gap creeps wider 1.11.2013
  15. ^ Parliament says no to fur-farming ban Parliament says no to fur-farming ban yle 19.6.2012
  16. ^ Turkistarhauksen kielto kaatui äänin 146-36 yle 19.6.2012
Preceded by Jyrki Katainen's cabinet
June 22, 2011 — 24 June 2014
Succeeded by