Sports, ERR biggest winners in MP funding distribution scheme
Parliament parties have sent their vision on how to spend 6.5 million euros earmarked for distribution by each party as seen fit.
Since mid-90s, parties have had a sum earmarked in each national budget to spend as they see fit, rather than purely for public interest.
The fund was set up to prevent the budget from being torn apart by MPs looking to satisfy special interests, but has often been spent on personal expenses, even summer houses. The recipients also include many NGOs, but many who receive funds have connections to politicians, ETV's “Pealtnägija” program revealed a year ago.
This time around, 6.5 million euros will be divided up with sports and ERR set to be the biggest winners.
The Financial Affairs Committee will debate the spending of the cash and not all proposals by parties might make the 2016 budget.
The Reform Party has proposed giving 620,000 euros to the Estonian Olympic Committee, 90,000 for the renovation of a sports field in Tartu and 80,000 to ERR to support the showing of sports events on television. The party would also back 99 other projects with sums ranging from 50,000 to 3,000 euros.
The Center Party has a more balanced vision on how to spend its share of the fund, with a Narva art school renovation project the biggest winner with 35,000 euros, followed by similar projects in Tallinn, Loksa and Kohtla-Järve. The party has listed a total of 105 projects ranging from 35,000 to 2,000 euros.
SDE would also give the Olympic Committee (295,000 euros) and ERR (90,000) the largest injections, with a music garden in Paide also set for 50,000 euros. Over 150 other projects are also on SDE's list.
IRL's choices look very similar with 365,000 euros for the Olympic Committee and 80,000 for ERR. with a kindergarten in Türi and a cancer association each receiving 50,000 euros.
The Free Party and EKRE have kept their lists shorter with the Free Party naming an NGO which publishes nature magazines (70,000 euros) and rescue and voluntary police officers (50,000), as well as a foundation for blind people in Estonia (40,000) as its top recipients.
EKRE has marked down a Lutheran church in Tallinn (35,000 euros), a kindergarten in Valga (25,000) and kids playground in Saue (15,000), as well as around 20 smaller projects.