Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said on Wednesday that the government's budget for 2019 is "responsible and sustainable" and supporting the consistent development of all of Estonia. At €11.3 billion, next year's budget is the country's biggest yet.
"The state budget of more than €11 billion is the result of the work of diligent entrepreneurs and people who have contributed to developing our nation this year and during the last decades," Ratas said according to a government press release
Estonia is doing well, the gross domestic product has increased for nine years straight, which has brought along a faster than usual economic growth, the prime minister said.
"We are moving step by step and getting closer each year to Western Europe and the Nordic countries," he added. "Estonia has a long way to go, but the goal is as ambitious as it should be."
The 2019 budget as handed on to the Riigikogu includes a nominal surplus and maintains structural balance, Ratas said. The tax burden will remain below 34% for the next few years, and government debt is forecast to decrease from the current 8.2 to 7.4% next year.
Ratas also quipped that businesses would be able to find some comfort in the fact that no new taxes and tax hikes are planned for 2019.
He stressed that economic growth needs to be both sustainable as well as beneficial to all of Estonia's people, which is why the government has decided to contribute to the raising of wages and increase the salary fund for employees whose wages are financed out of the state budget. The most notable increase in wages will happen in education, culture, social welfare and internal security, Ratas said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn