Simson: Reform Party should worry about the economy, not a balanced budget (3)
Chairwoman of the Center Party’s parliamentary group, Kadri Simson, said to ERR’s online news that the coalition should rather busy itself with economic growth than worry about structural balance, as a working economy would help along the state budget as well.
Simson said about former Minister of Finance Aivar Sõerd’s comment that a balanced budget would be harder and harder for the government to achieve that it showed once again how it was the Reform Party’s politics not to get the economy going, but rather to compete with the rest of Europe for the position of the country with the biggest cutbacks.
Sõerd had been right where he pointed out that his party’s government had given up on the idea of always running a budget surplus, Simson said. “Since 2009, the government has handed budget bills to the Riigikogu that planned for more spending than it expected revenue,” Simson said.
Simson added that this wasn’t necessarily negative, as completely stopping government spending during a financial crisis would make the situation of the economy ever so much worse. She pointed out that other governments had taken similar action and used the European Central Bank’s offer to buy back bonds, for example.
“With this, the most pressing worry of the coalition should be economic growth, as this would immediately contribute to structural balance as well,” Simson said.
Member of the Riigikogu’s Finance Committee and former minister Aivar Sõerd (Reform) had said earlier that he doubted the government would be able to uphold the principles of a balanced budget for much longer. According to Sõerd, Estonia has already given up on the idea of a permanent budget surplus as well as getting its reserves back to pre-crisis levels.