No fields will be given specific budget cutback goals yet, as the Estonian government wants to wait for the release of the Ministry of Finance's autumn economic growth forecast this August first, Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Centre) said on ETV's morning program "Terevisioon" on Friday.
"We discussed this in principle [in the government] very clearly and at length yesterday, and decided that not one field will currently take a single cutback figure into account until we see the new economic growth forecast, and then we will see what the state thereof is," Reps said in an interview on Friday. "So we are looking forward to the end of summer, when we will see the latest numbers."
The Ministry of Finance releases its economic growth forecast for Estonia, which becomes the basis for the Estonian government as it draws up the next state budget bill, twice per year. The fall forecast is published in August.
"We will wait for the August forecast, as that is currently the draft for the budget," Reps said. "The economy is actually growing, and I am optimistic in that regard."
The Estonian government on Thursday approved its state budget strategy for 2020-2023, according to which state budget volumes will total just over €48.5 billion over the next four years. Next year's expenditures are to total approximately €11.7 billion, some half a billion euros more than this year.
The government also approved the first draft of the 2020 state budget bill, which does not yet include funding decisions made in the state budget strategy. The government will discuss the 2020 state budget bill in detail this fall, prior to its submission to the Riigikogu.
All ministries have been generally advised to make cuts to their previously planned expenses and investments during the 2020-2023 period.
Editor: Aili Vahtla