World’s Happiest Nation Scans Budget to Find Good Life for Kids
(Bloomberg) -- Finland, which consistently outranks other nations as the world’s happiest, is about to map out how the money the government spends impacts children, to further improve their lives.
It’s the latest move by Europe’s fastest-aging country to advocate for the next generation. In 2020, the left-leaning coalition government led largely by millennial party leaders pushed through more equal parental leave, giving parents 14 months to share the time off with their child.
The plan is to scan the central government budget, line by line, for child-related spending items to gain an overall view of where the funds go, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday. That will also allow assessing whether the spending effectively meets the goals set, it said.
“We need the perspective of children in the management of public finances,” Finance Minister Annika Saarikko, 37, said. Breaking down silos is needed “because a good life for children is an overall package,” she said.
Finland will pilot child-oriented budgeting in the 2022 spending proposal and is set to standardize the process from 2023, the ministry said.
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