Finance minister calls for more budget cuts

  • 2008-12-12
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS
TALLINN - The Estonian finance minister has said that expenditures in next year's budget, which was passed on Wednesday, should have been drastically slashed.

The adopted budget was the best that could be achievedat present, the minister, Ivari Padar, said at thegovernment news conference. He added at the sametime that it would have been sensible to find spots forfurther cuts to the tune of around 1 percent of grossdomestic product which would increase certainty of the 2009budget deficit not exceeding 3 percent of GDP.

The local elections slated for the next year may increase the risks relating to the public sector loan burdenas local authorities may be tempted to borrow more heavilyahead of the polls, the minister said.

Padar said he made several suggestions about cuts prior to the adoption of the budget. It could have beenagreed, for instance, not to implement certain investmentsuntil figures of the actual budget revenue intake becameavailable in the middle of the next year, he said.

"We have a single goal: to meet the Maastricht criteria(for euro adoption) in 2010," Padar stated.

The budget slashes the expenditures of ministries andstate institutions by around two billion kroons (127.8million euros) compared with the Finance Ministry's original draft.