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Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna replied to interpellations.

Members of the Riigikogu Jaanus Karilaid and Ester Karuse had submitted an interpellation concerning the underfunding of roads to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

The interpellators referred to the report by the National Audit Office according to which the funding of national roads in its present form was not sustainable and the Estonian state was planning to allocate a smaller amount for the maintenance of highways next year than had been allocated in 2013–2022.

The Prime Minister explained that, with the decreasing funding, they were unable to meet all the objectives set for the preservation and development of national roads. “In a situation where there is not enough money to meet the objectives, priorities need to be set in activities,” Kallas said. She referred to the fact that the state budget was currently in chronic deficit, and that was not sustainable.

Kallas said that the maintenance expenditures necessary to ensure that the road network met the conditions had not been cut and there was no plan to save on them in any way. That was also proved by the road maintenance expenditure trends for the previous and the planned period in the budget of the Transport Administration. Correspondingly, it had been 36.1 million euro, including 16.3 million for winter maintenance, in 2020, and 37.6 million euro, that is, over 10 million euro more, including 17.3 million for winter maintenance, in 2021. In 2022, 40 million euro had gone into road maintenance which had again been more than in 2021, including 19 million for winter maintenance. 44.5 million euro have been planned for the maintenance of roads, including 20.6 million euro for winter maintenance, in 2023, and 45.4 million euro, including 21.1 million euro for winter maintenance, in 2024. “So, as you can see form these numbers, these funds are increasing steadily,” the Prime Minister noted.

Kallas pointed out that the maintenance of roads and security were definitely significantly interlinked, because there were less risk factors for accidents on roads that were in good condition and well maintained. At the same time, it must be taken into account that there are considerably more than one accident risk factors. “The biggest accident risk factor is speed which determines the consequences of a traffic accident and the degree of severity of injuries,” Kallas said.

The Prime Minister added that, looking at infrastructure as a whole, in fact 400 million euro was being invested in infrastructure this year, but much more of it was going into railways than into roads.

Prime Minister also replied to the interpellations concerning the weakening of local governments, and regional disparities, the livelihood of local governments, the funding of health care, the livelihood of disabled people, and regional development in view of the planned tax rise, submitted by members of the Riigikogu.

Kallas did not have to reply to the interpellation concerning the establishment of Tallinn Hospital because of the absence of the interpellator.

The Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur replied to the interpellation concerning national defence.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna replied to interpellations concerning the rise in VAT.

Tsahkna did not have to reply to another interpellation concerning the rise in VAT due to the absence of interpellators.

The interpellation concerning the integral impact of the tax package and the interpellation concerning transparency of the legislative process submitted to the Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur, and the interpellation concerning transparency of the legislative process submitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna were removed from today’s agenda.

The sitting ended at 6.33 p.m.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

Video recording will be available to watch later on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.

Riigikogu Press Service
Gunnar Paal
+372 631 6351, +372 5190 2837
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]

 

 

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