Gallery: Estonian government convenes to discuss ways to prune the budget

Ministers and leading politicians of ruling parties convened at the Maarjamäe Palace on Tuesday to discuss ways of cutting and reorganizing Estonia's state budget in ministries and their administrative areas.

The meeting kicked off at 10 a.m. and is scheduled to run until six in the evening. The event, dubbed as an outing, seminar or work meeting in different ministries' agendas, will see participation from government ministers, the Riigikogu speaker and Eesti 200 leader Lauri Hussar, the Social Democratic Party's chief whip Jevgeni Ossinovski and others.

"This state budget will be centered around cost-cutting, which is what the government partners agreed when putting together the coalition," Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev said. "In addition to ongoing reorganization of ministries, we are looking for ways to cut costs inside administrative areas, with all ministries expected to send in relevant proposals by July 1. Ministers must also keep in mind that applications for additional funding cannot be filed this year," the minister remarked.

The Finance Ministry will bring the austerity proposals together, which will be analyzed when the process of putting together the 2024 state budget starts. Specific activities and avenues of austerity will become clear when the budget and the state budget strategy are approved in the fall.

Võrklaev said that everyone must contribute to help pay for growing defense spending and plot a course back toward fiscal balance. "There will be no administrative area where cuts cannot be made. It is always possible to reorganize activities and find if only a little additional efficiency," he added.

The ministry also wants to put together a net zero budget activity plan for broad-based changes and reforms by fall. The goal is to find major avenues for economizing and reorganization to render the state apparatus more efficient. "It can only happen gradually as we will be going over the budget from scratch so to speak. We want to go through certain fields every year to find ways to cut costs structurally," Võrklaev explained.

State budget deliberations are set to begin in August. The government usually approves the budget in the fall, with the Riigikogu voting the document into law towards the year's end and it taking effect from the start of the next one. Work to draft the state budget is coordinated by the Ministry of Finance.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Marcus Turovski

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: