“The state budget for next year is dedicated to keeping our people safe and can also be considered a strategy for preparing Estonia for the future. This is a budget for the whole of Estonia, where the priorities are a safe and educated population and a strong and protected country,” said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and outlined three main directions.
“Firstly, we will bring the daily expenses of the state under control, which, among other things, means the implementation of state reform. Secondly, we will invest in our people. This means raising the salaries of teachers, rescuers, and police officers. We will also make sure that the invisible victims of the pandemic receive the support they need – that is why we will support mental health and ensure that the educational gaps caused by distance learning are levelled. In addition, we will create a family mediation system so that there are fewer children from broken families. We will also increase pensions and support for pensioners living alone. Thirdly, we will focus on the rapid and sustainable long-term development of Estonia. For this, we will allocate additional money for the development of the Estonian-language education system. Public funding for research and development will increase and will be one per cent of the GDP. We will also increase the defence capabilities of Estonia.”
Jaak Aab, the head of the government delegation of the Centre Party, highlighted the cancellation of excise duty increases as one of the high-impact government decisions. “We reached an agreement to cancel the excise duty increases planned for next year and to take measures to curb the excessive growth of excise duties in the coming years,” he said. “In total, the government will contribute nearly 265 million euros from the state budget in the coming years to keep excise duties low and thereby support Estonian families, households, and the business sector.”
“In addition, there is reason to be pleased that the state budget managed to ensure the continuation and initiation of various special and thematic plans, including, for example, the Tallinn Ring Railway project and the permanent connection across the Suur Strait. Through fast and safe transport infrastructure, we can increase the mobility opportunities of people and support efficient logistics, which will increase the competitiveness of both the regions and the Estonian economy,” added Aab.
Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said that the state of public finances in the budget for next year is significantly improving, which will enable the government to responsibly solve the most painful problems while also dealing with the future. “The increase in expenditures in the state budget is under control and the deficit is decreasing. The state is tackling the most painful concerns and investing in the future while giving as little impetus as possible to price increases. We are showing that good and necessary things can also be done while being financially responsible,” said Pentus-Rosimannus.
The government plans to approve the draft state budget next week. The draft must be submitted to the Riigikogu by the end of September at the latest.