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Seven Reform Party MPs opting out of distributing 'roof money'

MP Aivar Sõerd said seven Reform Party MPs have decided not to participate in the distribution of funds for direct regional investments, commonly dubbed "roof money", and that more MPs from other party groups may decide to do the same.

Speaking on ETV on Monday morning, Sõerd (Reform) said: "The party group discussed this. I, for example, have decided not to [participate in said distribution of funds], on principle. As the state budget lacks transparency in its new format, and the Riigikogu cannot see where and how the funds are used and no longer has the decision-making powers -- it has surrendered them -- this merely apparent decision-making power has been created. It devalues the state budget."

The official deadline for submitting lists of "roof money" recipients as well as motions to amend the state budget bill ahead of its third reading in the Riigikogu is at 2 p.m. on Monday.

"I've seen this list, these are great objects, very diverse. MPs with a background in culture are supporting cultural establishments and those with sports background are supporting sport," Sõerd said. "Many of these activities are ordinarily carried out by local governments from their own budgets."

After a few years in the opposition, the Reform Party is taking part in the distribution of direct regional investments, or "roof money", once more.

This time, three million euros is to be distributed by MPs with 30,000 euros earmarked per MP. The total volume of expenditures in the state budget meanwhile exceeds 13 billion euros.

In order to increase transparency, the name of the MP should be included in the allocation proposal together with the recipient of funds.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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