Flight tax citizens initiative crosses 50,000 threshold
A citizens initiative to impose a tax on airline passengers – a so-called ‘flight tax’ – has crossed the 50,000 signature threshold. It must now be examined by committee in parliament to see if there is political will to enshrine it in law. The organisers believe that economic controls are needed to reduce the number of Finns flying. They say that air transport generates very high levels of carbon dioxide, water vapor and other emissions which account for about 4% of global warming. The tax, levied per passenger, would bring Finland in line with Sweden where a tax between €6 and €40 is charged. The initiative, although lodged by eight private citizens, was financially backed by Friends of the Earth Finland.
News Now Finland journalist wins European award
News Now Finland journalist Elias Huuhtanen has won the Free Press Unlimited 2019 Newcomer of the Year – Hans Verploeg Award. Huuhtanen, 24, was nominated for his work on three investigations in Finnish state-owned companies Patria and Neste. Speaking at the award ceremony in The Hague on Thursday, Huuhtanen said he is thrilled to be recognised for his journalism. “We put a lot of time and hard work into these stories and it’s a real honour to receive this prestigious award, especially since the other nominated journalists did such exceptional work” says Huuhtanen. “It’s an amazing feeling to win the Hans Verploeg Award, and I want to thank Free Press Unlimited for recognising the value that even a small newsroom can bring to the media landscape” he adds. Read more about the award, and the investigations, at our story here.
Government issues new fighter invitation letters
The Finnish government has sent out letters to five international companies inviting them officially to bid to provide the successor aircraft to the Hornet. There’s a €10 billion price limit on the project, and America’s Lockheed Martin and Boeing; France’s Dassault; Sweden’s Saab and the pan-European Typhoon are all expected to submit bids by the end of January deadline. The government will make the decision on which aircraft replaces its ageing Hornets based on the multi-role fighter’s capabilities; security of supply; industrial cooperation; procurement and total costs over its whole lifetime; and defence policy implications.
Labour shortage is frustrating Finnish comapnies
Two out of three Finnish companies believe that a shortage of skilled workers has caused problems with their business. That’s the findings of a new survey carried out by the Central Chamber of Commerce and published on Friday. About half of the companies say that lowering their labour costs would increase labour demand next year; and half say that improving the economic outlook and reducing uncertainty would boost investment in the coming year as well. The survey was carried out at the end of September, and around 760 companies from different sectors around Finland took part.
Friday morning weather
It’s a wintry outlook for Friday morning weather with snow in the north, central and eastern border areas. Around Inari the temperature is down to -20°C this morning, and ranges from -12°C across other parts of Lapland to -6°C in Oulu and ‘warms up’ to -1°C in Central and southern areas. The best of the sunshine is in Tampere, Turku and the capital city region where temperatures start the day a couple of degrees above freezing. Watch out for slippery driving conditions especially in southern areas