Road Maintenance Funding Down 5% in Draft 2014 Budget ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR

The state budget passed the first reading in Parliament yesterday, with October 30 set as the deadline for amendment proposals.

In introducing the budget, Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi said Estonia was going into the new year with a favorable investment climate and fewer negative pressures from abroad.

He said the budget was characterized by conservatism and sustainability.

Although it provides for 5.1 percent wage increases and 5.8 percent pension hikes, there are areas, already strapped, that will suffer in 2014. Ligi told Parliament that road maintenance would have to make do with close to 5 percent less money.

The area will get 220 million euros of funding from the fuel excise and 60 million euros in structural funds. These figures were 199 million and 94 million euros this year, resulting in a 4.6 percent decrease.

Road maintenance is funded 75 percent from fuel excise and 25 percent from revenue from fiscally marked fuel excise.

Starting in 2013, local governments get 10 percent of the total earmark for road maintenance, which makes 28 million euros, 4.3 percent less than this year.