Sunday, December 10, 2023

Here are the biggest recipients of corporate subsidies – a researcher puzzling over the strangest


See how much business subsidies various companies have received in recent years.

The state has paid 61 million euros as business support to the listed company UPM in the years 2020-2022. The largest recipients of trade subsidies are shipping companies and large forestry, steel and chemical companies.

The top 25 companies, ie those that received the most support, were paid 485 million Euros over the above period.

See the list of companies and amounts at the end of the story. There are both state subsidies and possibly EU subsidies.

Cost support, i.e. support due to the corona pandemic, was the largest form of support, labor cost support for merchant ships and support for electrification of energy-intensive industry, which will end in 2025, were the next largest.

Recipients and amounts of business subsidies can be found at the Information Service of the Ministry of Labor and Economy (TEM), which has compiled information on different types of subsidies and recipients from recent years.

Business tax subsidies, which are a form of support in the size of several billion euros measured as tax deficits, are not included because they are not recorded.

There are also some cases that raise questions: Vermo’s racetrack, which has received 18 million euros, the eighth most generous subsidy in three years. Tampere Race Track is also among the top 25 recipients with a pot of nine million euros.

Trax has received the annual “Support for Central and Provincial Trax in Finland”.

– I do not understand what market deficit is being corrected here, said Helly Kosky, director of research at the Institute for Economic Research ATLA.

In the top 25 group of small and medium-sized companies, nine are racetracks and operators in the horse breeding industry as recipients of support.

Koski expects a business support overhaul to be on the new government’s agenda as a means of adjusting public spending.

Business subsidies are talking about spending in the billions, and cutting ineffective subsidies will not only lead to savings, but make market operations more efficient, Kosky says.

In addition to Atla, Kosky serves as head of Temi’s Business Support Research division.


Public support corrects market shortfalls when the expected social benefits of an R&D project exceed its costs.

Many researchers and politicians have also spoken about the harmfulness of trade subsidies, but so far a complete metamorphosis of subsidies has proved too vehement for politicians.

A lot of reflection and research-based information has accumulated over the years about what kind of subsidies should be cut. Commercial subsidies are one area where even a large amount of research data in one direction does not guide policy actions.

Viking Line, Finnlines and Tallink Silja garnered a lot of commercial support.

Viking Line, Finnlines and Tallink Silja garnered a lot of commercial support. Photo: Antti Hämälainen

According to Temi data, the next biggest recipients of support have been Viking Line, €54 million, Finnlines, €42 million and Tallink Silja, €33 million.

Shipping companies have publicly defended the endorsement. According to them, this is not a subsidy but a refund system, which is used to reduce the personnel cost of shipping companies so that they can hire people from their own countries.

Support is also justified by ensuring the security of supply and the importance of sea transport. Finland and other EU shipping states support ships by refunding social insurance and pension contributions paid by the employer to the employer.

Forestry companies got lakhs in subsidy.

Forestry companies got lakhs in subsidy. Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Among other forest companies, Metsa Board received 21 million and Stora Enso 18 million.

The business subsidy received by Outokumpu was 21 million euros, and that of the network company Nokia Solutions & Networks was 19 million.

At the time of publishing the story, no comment had been received from UPM on the basis of commercial subsidies.

– If UPM or any other large company implements a research and development project with subsidy money, which it would not implement without public funding, and it is expected that the result of this R&D activity will be a revolutionary innovation that is large If the scale benefits society, large companies can also justify public support to the company’s R&D project, Koski states.

Public support corrects a market shortfall when the private expected returns of an R&D project are less than the cost, i.e. the project will not be met with private funding, but the expected social benefits of the R&D project exceed its cost. become more.

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