TALLINN - While pensions as well as wages of medical professionals and teachers are at risk of further cuts, the increase in the maximum rate in parental benefits causes puzzlement among opponents of the plan, reports news agency LETA. This means that next year's state budget will have to carry an extra burden of approximately 50 million kroons (3.2 million euros).
The government cabinet will discuss the increase in this maximum rate, to go up from the current level of 30,700 kroons, to 35,316 kroons, starting Aug. 27.
The Ministry of Finance will also come up with a projection on the near-term financial future of Estonia. "On the basis of information currently available, the outlook will be grim," says Secretary General of PRU Margus Tsahkna, one of the partners of the minority coalition. "We expect answers from the minister of finance as well as from the minister of social affairs on how the state will cover the increase in the maximum level of parental benefits," he added.
Whereas the minister of social affairs, Reform Party member Hanno Pevkur defends one of the party's major election promises with the claim that the increase in the maximum amount has been set by law, Tsahkna says that laws can always be changed. "Decisions must be made on the basis of solidarity, and it is clear that an increase in the maximum rate of parental benefits will bring major feedback to society," promotes Tsahkna.