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Estonian parlt committee starts handling next year's state budget

TALLINN – The finance committee of the Estonian parliament at a sitting on Monday started handling the draft legislation of next year's state budget, the committee sent the bill for first reading at the parliament's plenary sitting on October 17.

Finance Minister Toomas Toniste said that the basis for next year's state budget is an economic growth of 3 percent. Compared with 2018, the income along with transferable taxes will increase 639.5 million euros or 6.1 percent in 2019. The tax burden of next year will be 33.6 percent of GDP, which is still below the average indicator of the European Union, the parliament's press service said.

The volume of expenses and investments will be 11.31 billion euros and the planned volume of income is 11.06 billion euros. The budget is at a nominal surplus of 130 million euros and in a structural balance.

Chairman of the finance committee Mihhail Stalnuhhin said that the committee in the framework of handling the bill is planning a broad-based discussion with representatives of ministries, while the committee is also planning to thoroughly analyze standpoints presented by experts.

Central topics discussed at the sitting on Monday included the state budget's balance of income and expenses, investments, defense spending and social and healthcare expenses.

The finance committee decided to send the 2019 state budget bill for first reading at the plenary sitting of the parliament on October 17 with the proposal of concluding first reading.

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