Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) has said that in the current economic situation, the state cannot create a presumption of a general wage rise for culture workers. At the same time, he hopes it will be possible next year.
"Qualified culture workers with higher education are rightfully waiting for their annual wage rise. Hopefully next year we will have better tax revenues, the economy will recover and wage growth as well," Lukas said in an interview to daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht published on Monday.
"The operating costs and wage costs will not increase. However, this does not mean that institutions cannot make wage decisions within their own institutions. But the state can't create a presumption," Lukas said.
Speaking about the functioning of cultural life during the coronavirus crisis, Lukas said if the situation continues and additional restrictions are introduced, then an additional support package should be considered.
He said private sponsors could be more involved, and more favorable conditions could be created for them such as tax benefits and income tax exemption from sponsorship amounts.
"If private money comes to culture, it would offer relief to the state budget as well," Lukas said.
Lukas said the tax free limit for donations to culture organizations should be raised from €1,200 to €6,000. "The private donations given to the Cultural Endowment (kultuurakapital) should be income tax free," Lukas said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright