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At its today's sitting, the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) voted on the motions to amend to the next year’s state budget bill. The Government, and the factions and members of the Riigikogu submitted altogether 38 motions to amend the bill.

“The Finance Committee approved the proposal of the Government on increasing the salaries of cultural and internal security workers by 4 percent. In 2016, the minimum monthly salary of a cultural worker with higher education will rise to 830 euro. 4.7 million euro have been allocated for the salary growth in the internal security sphere,” Chairman of the Finance Committee Remo Holsmer said.

“The investments in the area of government of the Ministry of Rural Affairs will be increased by 1.5 million by an amendment to be made, and it will be allocated to the rural life development subsidies system of the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board. New information system will help distribute the subsidies more effectively, and also better control the tax behaviour of beneficiaries,” Holsmer explained the motion supported by the Finance Committee.

“The Committee also supported the motions that will combine the finance accounting and wage calculation of, for example, the Ministry of the Environment and county governments under the State Shared Service Centre,” Holsmer said. “These changes are a part of the ongoing state reform, and they will result in making the governing of the state more effective, and enable the ministries to concentrate on their main activities.”

The Finance Committee did not support the motions to amend submitted by the factions and members of the Riigikogu. “It was evident that the factions had been essentially dealing with their motions very thoroughly, but their main problem was that one-off sources for covering were intended to be used for increasing permanent expenses, which is not sustainable in terms of state budget. Likewise, the Committee did not consider it reasonable to reduce the expenses planned for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia and for Estonia’s presidency of the European Union,” Holsmer said. “Also, it is impossible to spend practically all of the Government reserve, which will total 49 million euro next year. The proposal of the Centre Party faction to sell the liquid fuel stocks would mean a loss of 2 million euro to the state at today’s low fuel prices, and such an economically unprofitable transaction cannot be supported.”

The priorities of the state budget for 2016 are the strengthening of the security of Estonia, promoting economic growth, improving the welfare of families with children and increasing the income of low wage earners. The volume of the next year’s state budget is 8.9 billion euro, which is 4.2 percent or 358 million euro more than the state budget for 2015.

The second reading of the State Budget for 2016 Bill (103 SE) is scheduled for the plenary sitting on 18 November.

More information: Remo Holsmer, +372 503 3673

Riigikogu Press Service

Gunnar Paal, +372 631 6351, +372 51 90 2837

[email protected]