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Finland Needs Measures to Close Long-Term Debt Gap, Report Says

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Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Finland needs to enact measures that lengthen careers to achieve balanced public finances in the long term, the country’s auditor said.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen is “unlikely” to reach its targets to stop debt growth by 2015 and keep the budget deficit in check, the Helsinki-based National Audit Office said in a report to lawmakers today. The government is committed to extra austerity if the central government’s deficit exceeds 1 percent of gross domestic product.

The readiness to cut public spending more than previously agreed on improves fiscal credibility, the organization said. Policy makers must find ways to boost competitiveness, encourage more competition especially in the service industries and restrain the growth of municipal spending.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kasper Viita in Helsinki at kviita1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net