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No drops in excises expected as state budget more or less ready

Chairmen of the government coalition parties.
Chairmen of the government coalition parties. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

While all three coalition parties proposed changes to excise duties and taxes during budget talks, the state budget has essentially been drawn up by now and it isn't expected to contain any major changes.

Over the course of budget talks, the Pro Patria Party proposed lowering alcohol excise duty rates, the Centre Party recommended lowering the excise duty on electricity and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) proposed increasing the tax-exempt income level to €540 per month.

"All of these topics were discussed, yes — that is true," Pro Patria chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder told ERR on Tuesday. "But they are all also tied to great financial effects. As I understood it, the government will present the budget without the inclusion of these changes."

On the subject of the alcohol excise duty, according to the Pro Patria chairman, the only thing the government is planning on doing is authorising the previously agreed upon cancellation of the excise duty hikes planned for 2019 and 2020.

"The Cabinet will of course continue talks, but I believe that there will be no more revolutionary changes in negotiations at this point," Seeder said.

He added that the budget will surely undergo some additional changes in the Riigikogu, but nothing major.

"The budget has always changed in the Riigikogu," Seeder said. "Something is added, amendments are taken into account, and the Ministry of Finance provides specifications. But members of the coalition won't start going the route of voting together with the opposition against the agreement reached within the coalition."

The 2019 state budget is approximately €11 billion in size. The Riigikogu typically concludes state budget negotiations in mid-December.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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