What changes in Finland in 2023

Share with your friends and colleagues

The start of the year always brings with it some changes in laws, regulations, and social benefits. In this blog post, we enumerate what changes in Finland in 2023.  

We’ve done similar posts in previous years. Here are our blogs, for example, for 2022 and 2021. As with those, we try to highlight changes that most likely will interest or affect our readers.

Wellbeing services counties started operating on January 1, 2023

The biggest change in Finland in 2023 has to do with the way healthcare and social services are organized. Starting January 1, 2023, the responsibility to organize healthcare and social services for Finnish residents fell on so-called wellbeing services counties. 

In late 2021, we published a blog post about the January 2022 county elections. In that one, we explained what wellbeing services counties are and why the government established those counties. Now, these counties have started operating. 

You as a resident might not see dramatic changes in the healthcare and social services you use. Often service numbers and locations have remained the same. Also, cities and municipalities still have the relevant information on their webpages. 

However, there might be some smaller but important changes that do affect you. For example, you might have been able to pay your service bills in person at your city’s service office. This you no longer can do because your city is not the one operating the services. We cannot list all such changes here. Instead, we point you to additional information.

Further information on healthcare and social services in different wellbeing services counties in Finland starting January 1, 2023

Please find information on your local services below. Note that currently (at the beginning of January 2023) many wellbeing services counties’ webpages only contain information in Finnish. Some of them do have albeit very limited information in Engish. With time, more information in English will certainly become available:

Changes in taxation

The tax code always changes at least somewhat at the beginning of a new year. While those changes might not be massive, they always have an effect on your pocketbook.

This year, however, there is one big change in the Finnish tax system. It will not, however, have a noticeable impact on your pocketbook. This change relates to the establishment of the wellbeing services counties. 

Before, healthcare and social services provided by cities and municipalities were funded by municipal taxes. Now that the municipalities no longer have the responsibility for organizing these services, they also do not need to collect as much taxes as they used to. Therefore, municipal taxes in Finland will go down by 12.64 percentage points starting from January 2023. This doesn’t, however, mean that you will see an equivalent drop in your tax burden. Not at all. Instead, state taxes will go up by the same percentage points in order to fund these services.

There are, however, some additional changes in the tax code that do affect your pocketbook. For example, to compensate for the high price of electricity, the government has lowered the value-added tax on electricity from the normal 24 % to 10 % for a fixed period of time. This applies only to the cost of electricity not to the electricity transfer costs. This reduction is valid until the end of April this year. 

The government has also set up a tax credit for high electricity costs. More information about this on the webpages of Finnish tax officials.

All other changes in the tax code are here.   

Changes in social security benefits

Families receiving child-related benefits will see some increases in their allowances in 2023. 

For example, the minimum maternity, paternity, and parental allowance payments increased on January 1. Previously, the minimum daily allowance was 30.71 €. Now it’s 31.99 €. Also, the full rate of the care supplement to the private day care allowance will increase by 100 € on March 1, 2023. This allowance also saw some index-adjusted changes on January 1. 

The annual income limits for student financial aid increased on January 1. The limits are about 20 % higher than in 2022. Students who get financial aid for 9 months can now earn up to 18 720 euros before taxes on top of the student financial aid. 

Study grants will increase by 4.2 % on August 1, 2023. 

Students will also see some of their costs increase in 2023. Healthcare fees of students in higher education increase by 1 € per term. Note that students are not automatically billed for this fee. They have to proactively pay it using KELA’s electronic service OmaKela.

Unemployment benefits also increased. For example, the basic unemployment allowance and the labor market subsidy increased from 34.50 per day to 37.21 per day. 

For a full list of changes to KELA benefits, go here

Changes to employment-related legislation

Changes to the Pay Security Act (translation of the original 2015 legislation here) improve the position of victims of serious work-based exploitation. These new changes give the victims a longer time to apply for pay security. In certain cases, victims can apply for pay security even if the employer has not been convicted to pay claims. Also, changes to this legislation should ensure a quicker and more efficient process for the victims.  More about these changes here.

Starting in January 2023 it will be easier for unemployed people to study without losing their unemployment benefits. Studies that won’t affect unemployment benefits now include short-term courses, supplementary qualification training, and studies attended in an adult education center. More information on this and changes to unemployment benefits is here

Minna
Follow me

Share with your friends and colleagues