Opposition MPs said the 2015 state budget, which passed a first reading in Parliament on Wednesday, is tailor made for the elections with every sphere getting a little extra, but with no long-term goals.
IRL MP Sven Sester said the higher tax-free minimum will give everyone an extra two euros per month, but that this money should have gone to those in need.
The 1 percentage point decrease in income tax is a gift, on everybody’s behalf, to the rich, said Center party MP Kadri Simson, adding that the budget fails to answer a host of questions, such as the decrease in police presence in rural areas or the low salaries of teachers in small schools, or even how to stop emigration.
“The message that the budget is balanced and sits well in an Excel spreadsheet will not change the lives of the people next year,” she said.
“I would say that one can be fairly satisfied with the interim budget as a one-year term government can not work miracles and its character will not be revealed,” IRL MP Helir-Valdor Seeder said.
University of Tartu Economics Professor Raul Eamets said the budget is optimistic, and based on an assumption that the state revenues will increase by 7 percent in 2015.
He said part of the EU funding written into the budget may not arrive in time as there are bureaucratic obstacles and the funds will not be released that quickly.
The 8.5-billion euro budget will be debated in Parliament in November and the beginning of December.