Wednesday. 29.03.2023

Kulmuni says she will return taxpayers' money paid for her training

The Finance Minister said she is also surprised by the total cost of the services provided by Tekir Oy.
The Minister of Finance, Katri Kulmuni. Photo: Finnish Government.

Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni (Center Party or Keskusta, in Finnish) said she will return all amounts paid by the two ministries which she has headed to the company Tekir Oy, that trained her to improve her communication skills. They are large bills, since one of her trainers, Harri Saukkomaa, charged the minister 700 euros an hour, and the invoices were paid with taxpayers' money.

As Suomen Kuvalehti first reported, the Finance Minister and leader of the Center Party spent more than 50,000 euros from taxpayers to pay the bills of Tekir Oy. Those charges were paid by the Ministry of Economy and Employment (29,884 euros) and by the Ministry of Finance (26,329 euros), which Kulmuni has headed in the past months.

According to Iltalehti, on Wednesday, while she was leaving form a government meeting at the House of the States, Kulmuni told she would pay it all back from her own money. She added that she was also surprised by the total cost of the services provided by Tekir Oy.

"I don't think I am the only minister who has used training . But I feel that in this situation, it is good for me to pay it back," she said.

Kulmuni also said she was not involved in awarding the contract to Tekir Oy, though in 2015 the company donated funds for her party's (Keskusta) campaign. The Chairman of the board, the renowned journalist Harri Saukkomaa, is an old acquaintance of the her party.

Antti Rinne's resignation

From June to December 2019, Katri Kulmuni was the Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment in the coalition government headed by Antti Rinne (SDP). In December 2019, following Rinne's resignation, Kulmuni was appointed Minister of Finance in the government headed by Sanna Marin (SDP).

According to Suomen Kuvalehti, Katri Kulmuni also used Tekir's coaching on 3 December 2019, the day Antti Rinne had to resign as prime minister precisely as a result of a statement by Kulmuni saying that her party had lost confidence in him.

Kulmuni says she will return taxpayers' money paid for her training