The largest employer in the economy and the largest employer of young people, the commerce sector, will introduce itself to young people in a wide and varied way at the World's Biggest Remote TET, coordinated by Economy and Youth TAT. The Finnish Commerce Federation and its business partners are also concerned about the shortage of experts that is threatening the commerce sector. Attractive jobs aim to encourage young people to join the responsible and constantly evolving commerce sector.
The Finnish Commerce Federation is disappointed in the Government’s decision to postpone some of its employment measures until next year. The decisions that have now been made will only alleviate the incentive traps for students and pensioners. On the positive side, the budget meeting did not decide to increase taxes on earned income and thus cut purchasing power. The decisions will not improve the international competitive strength of commerce.
Achieving the carbon neutrality target for 2035 requires decisions from the Government that support the low-carbon nature of service sector companies. A key decision would be to reduce the electricity tax in the service sector. A reduction in electricity tax would also safeguard Finland's cost competitiveness and domestic jobs. In an increasingly competitive international environment, the service sector is currently paying 45 times more electricity tax than industry.
In the commerce sector, the budgetary objectives underpin employment and strengthen the national economy. Decreasing labour taxation will increase the purchasing power of consumers and reduce the tax wedge. Contributions to promote the international competitiveness of domestic trade must also be increased.
The retail sector is growing rapidly this year, but it will gradually slow down to correspond with the rate of growth before the pandemic. Employment rates will not return to the level in 2019, and the need for improved operations and automation remains due to international and domestic competition. The multiple tax wedge of services raises prices and weakens purchasing power. Lighter taxation of work should be one of the primary efforts during the remainder of the current government’s term.
The Finnish Commerce Federation, the University of Eastern Finland, LUT University, the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Oulu and the University of Tampere are launching a completely new type of study package on digital commerce which offers a long-awaited way to enhance commerce competence in the Finnish educational field.
The Finnish Government is preparing the fourth round of applications for business cost support, a vital measure for businesses in the commerce sector due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. The Finnish Commerce Federation finds the proposed criteria for the support excessively strict as they exclude a large share of businesses in the commerce sector. The restricted and slow start to the summer’s tourism and festivity season contributes to the financial challenges of entrepreneurs, making it necessary to review the criteria for the support.
The festive season in the summer is approaching, but it is still unclear whether Finns will be allowed to arrange festivities, and for companies to invest in the high season. The Finnish Commerce Federation and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises require that the authorities swiftly review the restrictions and recommendations on gatherings and communicate their decisions as the epidemiological situation is easing up. As the pandemic is prolonged, a successful festive season can be crucial for specialty goods trade and companies in the service sector in terms of the continuity of their operations.
The value commerce has added to the economy has grown faster than the entire national economy on average. This means that commerce has become an increasingly significant creator of well-being in Finland. Municipalities should pay careful attention to what companies have to say and build functioning cooperation to promote regional vitality.
Opening up society as quickly as possible but in a controlled manner after the coronavirus pandemic has subsided is important for economic recovery. Regional emphasis on vaccines and the introduction of coronavirus passports will accelerate positive development. The Finnish Commerce Federation points out that communicating openly and in a timely manner about lifting restrictions and support measures will enable companies to have a clearer planning horizon.