A €730 million supplementary budget was agreed upon by the government on Tuesday which will cover expenses related to security, Ukrainian refugees and rising living costs in Estonia.
€250 million has been laid aside for energy security, which covers reserves of gas and liquified natural gas (LNG) as well as creating additional capacity for storing LNG.
Money has also been allocated to strengthening surveillance of the eastern border, creating a siren warning system and sheltering places in big cities. Additionally, the Rescue Board will be able to increase its activities.
VAT has been reduced from 9 percent to 5 percent on media publications, the same level as in Lithuania and Latvia, to support fair competition and promote Estonian-language media.
The budget will also cover expenses arising from hosting war refugees which will see local governments reimbursed. The government will also create a one-time subsidy to cover costs related to renting properties which will be paid to the landlord.
Subsistence benefits will be raised from €150 to €200, which will cost €29 million. Funding has been set aside for subsidizing energy prices next winter.
A temporary change in fuel excise duties has also been introduced which will apply to agriculture and oil shale mining until April 30, 2023.
The budget has been sent to the Riigikogu and will be voted on next week.
Editor: Helen Wright