Finland’s five-party government is debating a plan to impose a windfall tax on energy companies for 2023, although government and industry remain split on the idea, Finance Minister Annika Saarikko revealed in an interview published Thursday.
EU energy ministers agreed at the end of September that energy companies whose business relies 75% on fossil fuels should be taxed for their excess profits, however, no Finnish energy company currently fits the category.
Still, the Finnish government is currently debating a windfall tax it hopes will enter into force at the start of 2023, Annika Saarikko said in the interview for Keskisuomalainennoting that a proposal may be sent to parliament before Christmas.
While Saarikko did not give an estimate on how much the tax would gather, she was adamant about the tax not negatively impacting renewable investment and said it would not harm the normal operations of companies.
But the government and industry are divided on the matter with the staunchest advocates in government being the Left Alliance. On the business side, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have spoken in favor of the proposal, while the energy industry believes such a tax would hold back investments in green energy.
Others have also expressed issues regarding implementation.
In a panel discussion gathering energy experts on Thursday, Jukka Leskelä, the managing director of Finnish Energy, said that the proposal to tax excess profits made by energy companies for a fixed period would also pose difficulties in practice.
This is why it is essential for the government’s plans to lay bare how the tax would be targeted, Leskelä also said.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)