TALLINN – Maris Lauri, a member of the finance committee of the Estonian parliament, said at a discussion of the state's long-term development strategy in the parliament on Monday that no problem of state life will be solved by just distributing money, but it is also necessary to think about a better organization of activities.
"The taxpayer's money must be used prudently," Lauri said. "This means that one cannot live beyond one's means and if there are more wishes than possibilities, it is necessary to prioritize activities. After all, we proceed from these principles when using personal money, so we must behave in the same way with state money."
According to the former minister of finance, it was wrong that reserves were not collected during economically good times, but were spent and the state budget was allowed to go into the red.
"Now Estonia has to work hard to improve its budget situation, because one cannot live in debt indefinitely," she said, adding that the key here is to achieve greater efficiency in various areas.
"For example, the state has permanent costs in education, the social field and healthcare. We have to think about how to organize things there in a more rational and modern way. Use more knowledge and technology," Lauri said.
"By only giving more money, we can solve some problems in the short term, but long-term concerns remain. If we do not pay attention to them in time, the problem may be even bigger in the future," she added.
"Estonian life is promoted by innovative entrepreneurship, the use of technologies. If companies are successful, people have jobs and the state's tax revenues are higher, wealth grows. We have experienced this ourselves and could utilize this lesson more," Lauri said.
Minister of Finance Annely Akkermann gave an overview at the parliament's sitting on Monday of the implementation of the Estonia 2035 long-term development strategy in 2022.