TALLINN – Estonian Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik said that approximately 100 million euros of the 213 million euros allocated to the Health Insurance Fund for crisis aid from the supplementary budget has not been used.
"The reality is that the coronavirus outbreak ended up being smaller than we feared, and there is some money left over. We have based our spending on real needs, after all, and that money has simply not been distributed," Kiik said at a sitting of the Riigikogu's state budget control select committee on Monday.
As the support can be paid from the additional allocation for up to two months after the declaration of the emergency situation, Kiik said that it should be considered what to do with this money when the support period ends. "It is estimated that just over half will be used up and around 100 million euros will be left over," he said.
"Looking at the tax forecasts, the tax shortfall will be in the order of 200 million euros this year. Meaning that the budget of the Health Insurance Fund will nevertheless be in deficit, which means that one option is to level it out in the extent of 100 million euros, thus significantly reducing the deficit," the minister said.
According to Kiik, at least 100 million euros will be missing in social taxes over the next three years if the remaining 100 million euros meant for COVID-19 mitigation are used to cover this year.