Finland’s pay-as-you-go road tax runs into roadblock

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Traffic in downtown Helsinki. (iStock)
Traffic in downtown Helsinki. (iStock)
A change of leadership at Finland’s  Ministry of Transport may have stalled plans to introduce a pay-as-you-drive road tax.

The National Coalition’s Paula Risikko, who was recently appointed Transport Minister during a government shake-up, is reportedly not keen to drive the proposal forward.

New Public Administration and Transport Minister Paula Risikko said she isn’t fired up over the proposed pay-as-you-go road tax, which will replace the current vehicle registration levy and will tax motorists depending on how much they drive.

“I’m not terribly excited about it. It would be more important to improve work profitability. However we should consider different funding models and we’ll do that in a parliamentary working group during the autumn,” Risikko said.

The Ministry’s Senior Advisor responsible for road works Mikael Nyberg confirmed that it is unclear whether the proposal tabled under the previous Left Alliance Minister, Merja Kyllönen would go forward.

“The matter is being looked at as part of a reform of infrastructure funding, but we don’t know about the future of the road usage tax. However something of that nature might come to pass,” Nyberg added.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s N.W.T. seeks $600 million for roads, bridges, CBC News

Finland: ‘Smart’ public transport could cut car journeys, Yle News

Russia:  Arctic infrastructure cannot keep pace, Deutsche Welle: Ice-Blog

Sweden: Traffic reductions necessary for Sweden to reach climate goals, Radio Sweden

United States:  Tackling ‘frost boils’ on Alaska’s Arctic Highway, Alaska Dispatch

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