Government approves 2018 FY report, budget talks to continue next Thursday ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) at the government press conference at the Bank of Estonia on Thursday. Sept. 19, 2019.
Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) at the government press conference at the Bank of Estonia on Thursday. Sept. 19, 2019. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Estonian government on Thursday approved the state's consolidated financial report for 2018.

Budgetary expenditures and investments taken together totaled €10.27 billion last year; state receipts totaled €9.95 billion. Expenditures and investments exceeded revenue by €318.6 million, the Ministry of Finance said.

The National Audit Office said in its comments regarding the consolidated accounts that the state's 2018 annual accounts are accurate and adequately reflect Estonia's financial situation, its financial performance and cash flow for the year.

"Just as every company submits accounts of their economic activity once a year, the state also draws up a report on its economic activity every year," Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said.

"In substance, it is one of the most profound summaries of what has been done and how the state works," he continued. "And everyone can refer to it and be assured that the state's financial matters and accounting are in order."

According to the consolidated annual accounts, as of Dec. 31, 2018, the state had assets worth €16.07 billion. On year, the financial volume of state assets had grown by €668.7 million.

The state's liabilities totaled €8.82 billion, up by €860.1 million on year. Non-current liabilities accounted for the largest share thereof at €5.57 billion. The state's loan commitments totaled €3.08 billion, up €175.6 million on year.

The report also includes an overview of internal control mechanisms aimed at preventing corruption and the National Audit Office's related recommendations.

The government will next submit the state's consolidated financial report for 2018 to the Riigikogu for endorsement.

2020 state budget talks continue next Thursday

The government is set to continue 2020 state budget bill discussions at its Cabinet meeting next Thursday.

The government coalition, which consists of the Centre Party, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa, will be guided in drawing up the 2020 state budget by its five priorities — a family-friendly Estonia, a cohesive society, a knowledge-based economy, effective governance, and a free and protected state, spokespeople for the government have said previously.

In drawing up the state budget, the government will also be guided by the Ministry of Finance's latest economic forecast as well as the state budget strategy for the next four years adopted this spring.

The goal of the state budget strategy is to plan activities and expenditures for the long term, bearing in mind the government's priorities, forecasts as well as global trends. The state budget will also lay out the specific expenses and incomes of the next year, including, for example, the final salary funds of various fields.

The government must submit the state budget bill to the Riigikogu no later than three months before the start of the new fiscal year, i.e. by the end of September.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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