Budget and financial plan
Each wellbeing services county must draw up a budget for each calendar year. The county council will approve the budget by the end of the previous year. In connection with the budget approval, the county council must also approve a financial plan for three or more years. The budget year shall be the first year of the financial plan.
The budget shall include the appropriations and revenue estimates required to fulfil the duties and meet the operating targets of the wellbeing services county, and it shall indicate how the funding requirement will be covered. Wellbeing services counties can take out long-term loans for investments if the Government has granted budget authority for borrowing. Financing needs cannot otherwise be covered using long-term debt.
A county’s financial plan must be drawn up so that it is in balance or surplus no later than at the end of the second year of the financial plan. In practice, a single year of the financial plan can be in deficit, as long as the other years in the plan accumulate an equal amount of surplus.
Deficits must be covered within three years
The effects of measures to balance finances will normally materialise over a longer period of time, and wellbeing services counties should try to avoid accumulating large deficits in a single year.
If a county’s financial statements show a deficit, this deficit must be covered within no more than two years from the start of the year following the adoption of the financial statements, in other words, within three years of the balance sheet date.
If the county accumulates more deficit, the new deficit will not have an independent coverage period. The deadline for covering the new deficit will be the same as for the first accumulated deficit. For example, if a county first accumulates deficit in 2023, this deficit must be covered by the end of 2026. If more deficit is accumulated in 2024, this must also be covered by the end of 2026.
If the deficit is not covered within the statutory time limit, the county may be subject to an assessment procedure.
Pasi Leppänen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. 02955 30564, pasi.leppanen(at)gov.fi