At today’s additional sitting, the Riigikogu passed the State Budget for 2024 Act that had been declared to be a matter of confidence in the Government. The volume of revenues of the next year’s state budget is EUR 16.8 billion and the volume of expenditures EUR 17.7 billion.
At the final vote, 58 members of the Riigikogu supported the passing of the State Budget and 31 voted against.
According to the State Budget for 2024 Act (304 SE), initiated by the Government and declared to be a matter of confidence in the Government before the second reading, revenues will grow by 7.7 per cent and expenditure will grow by 4.9 per cent in comparison to this year. Next year, a total of 1.9 billion euro will be directed into the economy as investments and investment subsidies, 1.1 billion euro of which will come from EU subsidies and 0.82 billion euro from the state budget. The structural deficit in the state budget will remain at the level of 1.2 per cent, and the nominal deficit will be 2.9 per cent of GDP.
The priorities of the next year’s state budget are military and comprehensive national defence of Estonia, economic growth along with green reforms and sustainable public finances, education, increased the cyber security capability, and supporting Ukraine.
In 2024, Estonia’s defence budget will exceed three per cent of the GDP for the first time, amounting to 3.2 per cent of the GDP, and the state will contribute over 1.3 billion euro to national defence. The agreement to allocate one per cent of GDP to research funding is also kept in the state budget. 71.9 million euro has been planned for the transition to Estonian-language education, and nearly 24 million euro for teachers’ pay rise. An additional 23 million euro will be invested next year to ensure the soundness of the basic national IT infrastructure and cyber security.
The Bill initiated by the Government passed the first reading in the Riigikogu on 18 October. 745 motions to amend it had been submitted by the deadline. On 23 November, the Government decided to declare the passing of the Bill a matter of confidence in the Government before the second reading, and thereby also took over the duties of the lead committee. Motions to amend a Bill that has been declared to be a matter of confidence in the Government are not put to a vote.
Today’s additional sitting of the Riigikogu continues according to the agenda with the first and second readings of Bills.