Parties disagree over cost of Estonia's new coalition agreement
Opposition parties claim Estonia's new coalition agreement will cost the country almost €1 billion rather than the €270 million put forward by the incoming government.
The opposition parties, Center and EKRE, say the smaller figure is utopian and is, in reality, several times higher.
Center Party board member Jaak Aab said what has been costed is only family allowances, welfare, and Estonian language education.
"This number does not take into account the easing of energy prices. The Minister of Finance [Keit Pentus-Rosimannus] has also stated that it will cost approximately another €250 million. In addition, a decision national defense investments and expenses has been adopted which will cost around €350 million next year," he said.
EKRE chairman Martin Helme agreed and said the figures have been underplayed. Ten million euros has been allocated for the transition to Estonian language education but this is "not even close" to the amount needed, he said.
"Here we are definitely talking about, maybe, €100 million to do this thing," he said.
The Ministry of Finance says the total depends on the method of calculation and that all estimates are preliminary and approximate. The current estimate reflects the impact on the budget.
For example, energy support subsidies will largely be paid from a past surplus of approximately €100 million, national reserves and money from the CO2 tax.
"This has no impact on the budget position," said Kadri Klaos, head of public finance at the Ministry of Finance.
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Editor: Helen Wright