The Reform Party, Isamaa and the Social Democrats, in talks for a new coalition, did not find agreement on fiscal matters on Tuesday as there is little common ground, SDE leader Lauri Läänemets said.
"The starting point, which was suggested by the Reform Party, does not even allow for the higher education funding hike. This budget framework is so small that, even if we made very difficult concessions, there will be little room for our proposals," he told ERR. "And there is no point joining the government simply for the sake of occupying a ministry, "Läänemets suggested.
"We certainly believe that in times of crisis, we need to apply various measures to help people [...] and with those sums, we cannot do that," he added.
Läänemets said the parties are discussing how to move forward and discussions on the topic will continue.
The chairman said he still thinks it will be possible to reach an agreement before the end of the month.
"It depends on how the Reform Party shapes its positions. Whether they will also agree to some compromises," Läänemets said.
Võrklaev: No additional costs are required due to the negative budget
Reform whip and negotiator Mart Võrklaev told ERR that additional expenditures cannot be made due to the country's budget deficit.
Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) said the country is sitting on considerable deficit and the parties have a shared responsibility to contain it.
"If it doesn't suit them, they have to say what suits them and come up with their own solution. It is not true that it [the budget framework] does not allow for anything," Võrklaev added.
He said Reform has also put forward compromises.
Seeder: Isamaa agrees to rein in benefit hike for first two children
Chairman of the Isamaa party Helir-Valdor Seeder said the Reform Party wishes to limit the benefit for the first and second child to €80 instead of the proposed hike to €100 and that Isamaa are prepared to discuss the proposal.
He said that as the party that introduced the family benefits hike bill, it would be done with a heavy heart.
"I think that considering inflation, the long run and how difficult it has been to hike these benefits in the past, it is not a good idea (to cap the instrument at €80). But we are willing to do it in the name of a compromise," Seeder remarked, adding that he hopes it will not be necessary to go down that road.
The article was updated to add the comment of Helir-Valdor Seeder
Editor: Helen Wright