Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas and former finance minister Maris Lauri have proposed amendments to the government's supplementary budget that passed its first Riigikogu reading late on Monday evening.
Kaja Kallas and Maris Lauri stressed at a press conference that dealing with areas most in need of help due to the crisis is important at present. In particular, more funds should be allocated to the Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) and the Unemployment Fund (Töötukassa). In addition, it is important to support small enterprises and the tourism sector, Reform says.
The party has proposed creating a KredEx measure supporting micro and small enterprises and self-employed persons (FIE's) by granting them short term loans. This would mean cancelling the planned cuts in excise duties and directing €35 million towards doubling the Enterprise Estonia (EAS) support measures for micro and small enterprises and tourism sector.
€140 million from the €200 million earmarked for the Rural Development Foundation should be redirected into KredEx measures. Separate funds should be allocated for Saaremaa to alleviate regional shock, Kaja Kallas said. Ida-Viru County, where the situation might take a turn for the worse, must also be supported.
The party believes that the COVID-19 crisis reserve should be increased by €42,1 million altogeher.
The Reform Party does not support suspending of payments to the second pillar of the pension scheme. According to Kallas, it is important to remember that during the last crisis, Estonian kroon was at risk of devaluation. The current crisis does not pose this risk.
As many companies may receive financial support through the supplementary budget, it is important to publicly disclose these companies and grants, they added.
Editor: Anders Nõmm