The Riigikogu finance committee decided on Monday to turn down the proposals filed to amend the 2021 supplementary budget bill. After a vote, the committee made a proposal to the plenary to finish the second reading of the bill, spokespeople for the parliament said.
The chairman of the finance committee, Erki Savisaar (Center), said in a press release that a substantive discussion of the proposals to amend the bill was held last Wednesday, in order for it to be possible for the party groups to familiarize themselves with the 11 proposals and come up with their stance.
Savisaar said that while all the topics raised with the proposals to amend were important, they were not directly connected with the achievement of the goals set with the supplementary budget. The necessary money was to be taken mainly from the government's reserve. The issues raised have to be addressed by the government during discussions on the state budget for 2022 and the state budget strategy, the Center Party MP said.
"In processing the bill, the finance committee based its actions on the goal of allocating with the supplementary budget foremost the necessary resources to alleviate the needs of Estonian residents, businesses, the society and the health care system for compensation of the damage arising from the restrictions and the virus," Savisaar said.
The deputy chairman of the finance committee, Aivar Kokk (Isamaa), said that the bill definitely should have taken into account the proposals for reinvigorating the economy under the crisis and the introduction of rapid tests to contain the spread of the virus.
The package of measures in the supplementary budget bill contains resources for the payment of remuneration support in sectors of the economy where the volume of work is reduced due to the restrictions, continuation of the payment of the sickness benefit from the second day of illness, additional measures for preserving mental health, for special care and rehabilitation, additional resources for medicines, vaccination, crisis management, and support measures for the tourism sector, culture organizers and people in creative professions.
The supplementary budget also includes a compensation totaling €117 million to people who have stopped their contributions to the second pillar pension fund, which the 2021 state budget did not take into consideration.
The volume of the 2021 supplementary budget totals €641 million, according to the bill initiated by the government on March 18.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste