The state budget for the new year forsees an increase in the salaries of rescuers and teachers, an increase in pensions and the fight against the coronavirus. The government will release the details on Thursday.
Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab ( Center Party) told ERR on Wednesday morning the coalition is very close to drafting this year's state budget: "Today, the goal of the cabinet meeting is that we can formalize the decisions of principle. All the details will come at a government press conference tomorrow."
Next week, the government plans to submit the draft budget to the Riigikogu for approval.
"The Ministry of Finance has yet to make calculations. The numbers must be accurate and we very much hope that no more mistakes will be made," Aab said.
Aab said the costs related to the coronavirus crisis have been taken into account in the budget. "What is essential for vaccines, tests, overtime in hospitals is in the budget."
Aab acknowledged the course of the coronavirus can not be predicted and it is difficult to predict the costs involved, but confirmed that they had been budgeted for.
Aab also commented on the Minister of Finance's wish to cancel the increase the excise duty next year, saying people who have been severely affected by the price increase must be considered.
If earlier the parties to the government agreed on a 3 percent increase in the salaries of teachers, cultural workers and emergency workers, now Aab said that the Center Party expects an even larger increase in salaries.
"We want a bigger pay rise," Aab said. "We see that the salaries of police officers and rescuers are lagging behind and this must be taken into account. The average salary increase according to the economic forecast is 6.7 percent. We should also move there with these priority groups."
Next year, pensions will rise, linked to social tax growth and the consumer price index. "According to the current forecast, this increase will be €38 on April 1. In 2023, it will be supplemented by an extraordinary increase of 20 percent at the beginning of the year and indexation in the spring," Aab noted.
Editor: Roberta Vaino