Ligi Predicting Easy Budget Birth ({{commentsTotal}})

Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi said it is unlikely coalition partners Reform Party and the Social Democrats will cross swords over the 2015 state budget.

Talks with ministries over the budget, which often causes the most political mudslinging any given political year in Estonian politics, have been completed and coalition promises inserted, although final figures are still to be set in stone, ETV reported on Thursday.

Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski said teacher salaries should be 20 percent higher than the national average, adding that the new budget will not reach that mark, but should go closer.

Salary increases are highest on the wish list also for the Ministry of the Interior, with Hanno Pevkur, the minister, saying internal reorganization and more funds from the state budget will give police and rescue workers a financial boost.

Ligi said mass firings in state institutions are not planned in 2015, although mass hirings will also not take place. He said the economic situation is not the worst, but could be better, especially considering recent events in the world.

He said it is currently unclear how the war in Ukraine and cold relations with Russia will affect the economy, but Estonia has hopes for at least a slight growth in GDP.

PM Taavi Rõivas said on Thursday that the state expects a growth of 0.5 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2015, down from 2.0 and 3.5 percent respectively in April forecasts. He said the state budget will increase by 4.5 to 5 percent, taking the budget to around 8.4 billion euros.