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Refugees at the Ruskeasuo reception center in April 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The costs for receiving refugees will be cut by 45 percent next year. Next year’s budget for immigration will be 328 million euros, of which 268 euros are reserved to benefits, voluntary returns and outsourced services. The government is proposing a 61 million euros budget for the reception centers and the operation costs for the Finnish Immigration Service. The budget is based on assuming that that Finland will receive 10,000 refugees in 2017.

In 2015, the expenses of immigration, according to the Ministry of the Interior, was 183 million euros. This year the expenses are expected to rise to 594 million euros. About 510 million euros are expenses related to refugees in the form of benefits and costs related to the voluntary return to the home country.

Last year, Finland received 32,000 refugees, of which 20,000 were living in reception centers in December 2016. The large influx of refugees and the slow integration to municipalities lead the Ministry of Finance to increase the budget reserved for refugees in benefits, returns and outsourced services from 124 million euros to additional 144 million.

Sources: Helsingin Sanomat, The Ministry of Interior, The Government