The Reform Party’s leadership condemned the government’s budget policy, saying that Prime Minister Juri Ratas’ approach to the budget was reckless.
The party’s chairman, Hanno Pevkur, said Ratas’ choices regarding the state budget undermined Estonia’s future.
“In a situation where the economy is growing and the president of the Bank of Estonia as well as other financial experts have made it clear that letting the budget slip into deficit and spending reserves in a time of economic growth is irresponsible, the prime minister is acting recklessly, not thinking about the future,” Pevkur said.
Pevkur described the EUR 250-million gap between revenue and spending in the 2018 state budget as “incomprehensible” in the present economic situation.
“A steep increase in labor tax, in particular the punishing of entrepreneurial people who are the main drivers of economic growth, as well as the fastest price growth in Europe, which is hitting people with lower incomes particularly hard-all this is weakening the people of Estonia, the state, and our prospects for the future,” Pevkur said.
He added that instead of spending the country’s reserves, the government should accumulate more.
“Instead of borrowing and living at the expense of our children, the government should make use of the resources generated by economic growth and invest,” Pevkur said. “As a country, we should preserve what we have achieved, not break things that work just for the sake of doing things differently.”
Ratas pointed out earlier this week that despite the budget policy and changes in terms of revenue collection, the overall tax burden would not increase. The prime minister commented on the Reform Party’s criticism by pointing out that during their time in government, they had actually raised social tax themselves. (ERR/Business World Magazine)