The state budget will support the population, economy and development of Estonia

In her political statement made when tabling the draft budget for 2022, the head of government said the Estonian economy was strong and had returned to the level it had before the coronavirus crisis. She added that the employment rate was also on the rise. “The strength of our economy is the cornerstone of our state budget,” she noted.

Prime Minister Kallas said that thanks to the strength of the economy and bold decision-making, the government has been able to develop a responsible budget for 2022 focused on the well-being of the Estonian people while enabling the economy to grow and lead the way. for further development. “This is a budget for all of Estonia, where the priorities are happy, healthy, well-educated people and a strong and well-defended country,” she said.

According to the Prime Minister, there are three main areas of intervention in the budget. The first consists in controlling the current expenditure of the State. “The hole that had been dug in state coffers over the past few years was bigger and deeper than it should have been,” she said. “We have set out to address this. Among other things, this means bringing together different activities at the state level and implementing national reforms to make the public sector more efficient.” She added that the government hopes to reduce the budget deficit to less than 3% by next year.

The second focal point is the Estonian people who have been hit hardest by the health crisis: the budget foresees a salary increase for teachers, health workers, police officers, first aid workers and those employed in the field of Culture.

“The pandemic has also claimed unseen victims, and it is important to us that those who need help get it,” Prime Minister Kallas said. “We will support people’s mental health and fund activities that help fill the learning gap for our children. We will also put in place a system of family reconciliation so that there are fewer children from broken homes. And despite the fact that local government base revenues will exceed 100 million euros, we will provide local communities 10 million euros to support children’s recreational education. ”

The head of government also underlined the support for the initiation of culture for primary school children and the provision of organic food in schools. The economic policy decisions taken this year will also lead to over 13% growth in the average pension in the new year.

The third priority area of ​​the budget is the rapid and sustainable development of Estonia. Prime Minister Kallas said defense spending will hit a record high in 2022, accounting for 2.3% of GDP. “This is a clear message to our allies and opponents – that Estonia takes its security very seriously and contributes to it accordingly,” she said.

The head of government also spoke of the investments that will be made for the development of the digital state and to ensure cybersecurity; support for education in Estonian; and research and development expenditure amounting to 1% of GDP.

Prime Minister Kallas went on to say that in order to reinforce the feeling of security of the population and to avoid a further acceleration of the rise in prices, the decision had been taken to abandon all the planned excise increases. She also noted that plans were in place to add measures to the budget to offset high electricity prices. “If the cost of electricity remains unreasonably high for a significant period of time, we will help mitigate the impact it has on people and businesses across the country,” she said. “People shouldn’t have to worry or feel like they are being kept in the dark about the extremely fluctuating prices in the energy market.”

The full text of Prime Minister Kallas’ speech can be viewed online (in Estonian) at https://valitsus.ee/uudised/peaminister-kaja-kallase-poliitiline-avaldus-riigieelarve-algatamisel-riigikogus- 30092021

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stenbockimaja/albums/72157719935350386

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