Tallinn council chair: Disputes on city's budgetary strategy ongoing

Jevgeni Ossinovski (background), with Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart.
Jevgeni Ossinovski (background), with Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Discussions on the City of Tallinn's four-year budget strategy mostly revolve around triaging construction projects in the light of soaring inflation, City Council Chair Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) says.

While the 2023 state budget is currently under discussion at cabinet level, along with the state budget strategy, Tallinn, and indeed other municipalities across Estonia, are undergoing a similar process for next year.

Ossinvoski told ERR that: "Discussions are currently taking place regarding the drawing up of the four-year budget strategy, and this process will be completed within a few weeks.

"At the same time, the compilation of the 2023 budget has also started, in that we have mapped investment needs and been discussing them for a month already. This work is actively ongoing, but it will take some time to reach the final agreements," Ossinovski continued.

The four-year strategy is the first SDE has been involved with in Tallinn, after entering coalition with the Center Party last autumn.

Ossonovski noted that there were consequent political priorities and some disputes on what can realistically be achieved, set against inflation and the record energy costs, impacting upon the city also.

Construction material price increases and wage pressure are also making their effects known, he said.

The number of investment objects under discussion reaches into "dozens and dozens", he said, though was unable to itemize which construction projects would be put on hold, with the exception of the Tallinn Hospital, which was scrapped at state level during the summer.

"We will not give up on our hospital plan," Ossinovski added.

While the removal of EU funding for the proposed hospital was mace by the Reform Party when it was in office alone, which it was through much of June and July, Ossinovski's party are now in coalition at the national level, together with Isamaa, meaning the hospital project likely has not been shelved, either at state or city level.

SDE's other main key entries for the next four years concern environmental and climate issues, cycle lanes and potential new tramlines, Ossinovski said.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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