Ossinovski: State budget must be drawn up with real surplus

Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE).
Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE). Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

According to Social Democratic Party (SDE) chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski, his party believes that the 2019 state budget should include a real surplus. One of the party's priorities is also wage increases for internal security, police and rescue workers.

"Estonia's finances have been managed reasonably thus far — during periods of slow economic growth, the state has invested more, and the budget has included a deficit," Ossinovski told ERR on Wednesday. "Now, when the economy is growing quickly, we should accumulate reserves, and in our opinion, next year's state budget should be drawn up with a real surplus."

He believed that this is definitely possible to do, noting that he believed that the government would reach an agreement in this regard."

The SDE's priorities in this year's state budget included the financing of education and healthcare. According to Ossinovski, these priorities will remain, but be expanded to include the financing of research and innovation as well.

"There will be a greater focus on internal security as well, which is the foundation for society," he continued. "The goal is to increase rescue workers' and police wages."

On the subject of new taxes and excise duties, Ossinovski said that should the Ministry of Finance deem it necessary to adjust alcohol excise duties, SDE will support this. "But new tax increases is not a topic we plan on seriously discussing," he added, "Also because of the fact that economic growth is currently faster than expected."

The SDE likewise no longer plans on implementing a sugar tax. "We won't start seriously discussing the sugar tax matter," Ossinovski said.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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