Chairman of the Isamaa Party Helir Valdor Seeder said on ETV show "Esimene stuudio" Monday evening that the government has already made the decision to start cutting down on the expenses of the public sector. There is a fundamental difference between the way Isamaa and EKRE want to solve the crisis, Seeder added.
The Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) has said that in the current economic state, there shouldn´t be any cuts made. According to Helme, this would deepen the crisis and push Estonia to an even deeper economic crisis.
Seeder doesn´t agree, however. "Not at all, on the contrary. If we manage to save some money in the public sector, then we can direct this money to support the private sector and the healthcare sector or social assistance means."
Seeder added that this was not a conflict between the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa, who are in office together, along with Center, but rather differences in their worldviews and the differing views on how to solve the crisis is a fundamental difference.
"Isamaa´s position is that the economy needs to be revived. We find it important that entrepreneurship be supported by different measures, and cutting down on expenses in the public sector needs to be done. It´s definitely not the time to start giving out bonuses in the public sector," Seeder said.
"We can not be building two separate worlds today. The private sector, which is cutting down on the expenses, lowering wages and the public sector, where we are not cutting down on anything, spending more and giving out bonuses," Seeder added.
Minster of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) has assigned €2,000-3,000 bonuses to some senior executives in their jurisdictions.
Seeder said that he has forwarded his criticism regarding the bonuses straight to Helme.
Seeder also said the government has decided to bring forward the proposal to cut expenses in the second quarter of the year. "It has already been decided. It is obvious that this year´s budget needs to be tightened," Seeder said.
Seeder added that in the shadow of the crisis, the coalition parties have not started to implement their election promises, as alleged by the opposition.
"It is based on the wish to resolve the crisis as effectively and in the most targeted way possible, and of course the talk of election promises does not apply. The focus has been on resolving the crisis," Seeder said.
Kaja Kallas, the chair of the Reform Party, has said that the misuse of the crisis must be ruled out in the multi-draft bill.
Seeder replied that he agreed with this. "This package will definitely change on the part of both the legislative and the supplementary budget itself through amendments in Riigikogu," Seeder said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino