Coalition hopes to avoid passing budget with confidence vote

Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The coalition wants to avoid tying the 2024 budget with a vote of confidence, but an agreement to end the opposition's political deadlock in the Riigikogu is not forthcoming.

While Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) on Wednesday handed over the next budget to the Riigikogu, it is difficult to say when it will proceed as party chairmen have not reached an agreement to end the obstruction, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Opposition party EKRE's Chairman Martin Helme said to pass the bill a vote of confidence in the government will probably be necessary.

"After all, the budget is accompanied by a whole series of laws, without which the budget cannot be adopted. We have the law on the salaries of senior civil servants, we have the basic law on the budget, we have the law on environmental charges. There are a whole series of other bills that are related to the budget. Well, it is quite clear that none of these bills can be passed without a confidence tie, so with the budget we are certainly going to have a very serious confrontation here in exactly the same way," said Helme.

But coalition junior member the Social Democratic Party's Chairman Lauri Läänemets said the government is trying to avoid this.

"You can do it that way, but it doesn't make sense. It is not anybody in the coalition's wish, and I think in the opposition, that we tie everything to a confidence vote. Spring was painful, it was painful for everybody. Spring was instructive for everybody. And now the question is, can we somehow get over this hump?" he said.

Center Party Chairman Mihhail Kõlvart said no agreement was reached today, each oppositon party will continue in the Riigikogu based on its own political position.

"We are of the opinion that the parliament must work. Normal working procedures must be restored and ensured, and we are here and ready to cooperate. But, as we know, a filibuster can also be organized by a single party," he said.

The leaders of the political parties will meet again in the coming weeks to discuss possible solutions.

The deadlock started in the spring after the new coalition agreed to reduce family benefits payments. The opposition parties tried to block the move by submitting hundreds of amendments to stall the Riigikogu from processing the changes. In the end, the government passed the legislation by tying them to votes of no confidence. EKRE has promised to continue the action.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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