The 2021 State Budget Bill has passed its third reading at the Riigikogu, meaning it has passed into law as an act. Expenditures total close to €13 billion, revenues €11 billion.
55 MPs voted in favor of the bill, 44 against.
The budget takes into account the COVID-19 pandemic; the general government budget is projected to be in deficit with a nominal 6.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and a structural 6.6 per cent of GDP, in 2021.
Government sector investments will reach approximately €1.9 billion in volume next year. More than €1.4 billion in EU subsidies are planned in the 2021 state budget.
Tax revenues will increase to €9.3 billion in 2021, compared with around €9 billion this year.
The state treasury will be able to take on additional liabilities of €2.4 billion in 2021 with loans and bonds, if necessary.
This will make the Estonian government sector debt burden of potentially increase to €6.6 billion, or 23.6 percent of GDP next year.
As of November 30, the opposition Reform Party tabled 12 amendments to the bill, including one to boost the education ministry's budget by €225,000 to finance in-house psychologists for schools.
one amendment was also tabled by the Riigikogu special committee on the supervision of institutions, a change supported by the Riigikogu's finance committee, which also drafted two amendments, one clarifying changes within and between the areas of government of the ministries, the other supplementing the draft to the tune of €313 million of additional foreign support forecast for 2021, which is reflected in the consolidated line of government revenue.
So-called "protection money" has also been confirmed. As reported on ERR News the items in the government's €6.4 million pool, along with the opposition Social Democratic Party's €300,000 (the Reform Party does not take part in the protection money scheme) had already been outlined as per protocol; the bill simply confirms the allocations and signals the start of the process.
Editor: Andrew Whyte