Reform Party's Tallinn Mayoral Candidate Pledges €30 Million in Budget Cuts
MP Valdo Randpere, recently elected to lead the Reform Party in Tallinn at the upcoming local elections, said his election promises could be paid for by next year's tax windfall and trimming the current budget by 6 percent.
Randpere told uudised.err.ee that according to forecasts from the Ministry of Finance, the capital should rake in 18 million euros more next year, partly due to the thousands of people who recently registered as Tallinners to be eligible for free public transport.
The MP said his party will apply for more EU funding, fix the roads, build new interchanges and bike and pedestrian walkways, and increase social benefits.
Cuts will be made in public transport, where Randpere hopes to shave of 10 percent off, while five million will be cut from the council housing project.
“Each year Tallinn publishes subversive books, holds 'Tallinn helps' propaganda events, organizes pointless polls, forums and conferences,” Randpere said, adding that four million could be saved by eliminating these projects.
He said he will shut down or trim the Tallinn municipality television channel, TTV, the city's newspaper Pealinn and the MuPo, the municipal police force.
Aas: 'Randpere has no overview of the budget'
Deputy Mayor Taavi Aas responded, arguing the only way Randpere could make cuts in public transport was to get rid of the free program. "How does the mayoral candidate plan to have improved public transport and make cuts to it at the same time - this is unclear," he said on uudised.err.ee. "Even selling it off, like the Reform Party has pledged to do if it ascends to power, would not help save money. His goal can only be fulfilled if the Reform Party keeps its promise to end free public transport."
Aas also objected to Randpere's estimates in other areas, saying they were based on the wrong figures. Randpere's estimate of the municipal construction budget was 20 percent too generous, he said.
As for the cuts to media and the city's separate municipal police, Aas said: "His proposal would mean the city would have to quit all communicating with the public, including closing service outlets. There is no other way he could achieve such savings."