Suurkivi said that terminating the project means the board will have to spend more energy on consequences. “The state will end up spending more on responding to calls and local governments on helping fire victims. Of course, the worst possible effect is increased fire deaths,” Suurkivi explained.
“It breaks my heart, but we cannot cut other operating costs,” the deputy chief said in summary.
In the administrative area of the Ministry of Finance, the Tax and Customs Board will get €1.8 million for salary advance but is expected to save €1.9 million. The agency is looking at a wave of layoffs next year. “The MTA will cut 69 jobs from January 1 that allows us to plan salary hikes,” Triin Raaper, acting director for the agency, told Postimees.
The tax board employs 1,320 people, with layoffs concerning 5 percent of employees. Because the agency is still expected to perform all recent tasks, its capacity will inevitably suffer.
“We will cut back on certain activities or spend longer on them,” MTA media relations specialist Dmitri Pastuhhov said.
The Ministry of Rural Affairs was told to cut €1,560,604. Over €1 million will be saved from in-house operating expenses. The ministry will dial back trips and trainings and save on rent.
Spokesperson for the ministry Martin-Erich Torjus said that online events can also help save money as trainings and meetings can be held over the internet, while remote working possibilities will help the ministry save on rental space.
The activity support for organizations funded from the ministry’s budget will be slashed by over half a million euros, with project and operating costs targeted.
Torjus did not say which organizations are looking at cutbacks but added that the ministry is looking for alternative funding options, including foreign support.
The Supreme Court was initially required to cut €145,000 but was given €148,000 to streamline its work. Director Üllar Kaljumäe said that not a single cent was allocated for support staff salaries that, unlike in the case of first and second tier courts, are not fixed.
“To compensate for the unfair treatment of court assistants and remain competitive in terms of salary level, we looked for avenues of cost-cutting ourselves, Kaljumäe said, adding that freezing analytical efforts is the biggest and most troubling cutback for the top court. “We will be temporarily stopping court practice analyses from 2022. Their main aim was to support the shaping of a common judicial practice and its development,” Kaljumäe explained.
Ten Supreme Court employees will be laid off. “Reorganization will allow us to boost the funding of activities directly tied to administration of justice,” the Supreme Court director said.
While the Office of the Riigikogu has been ordered to save €430,000, it is also looking at additional funding of €300,000, meaning that €163,000 needs to be found. The lion’s share will come from the budget line of the Riigikogu Foresight Center.
The think tank is looking at 30 percent reduced work volume or managing two major analyses instead of three annually.
Riigikogu officials looking at wage hike
Internal reorganization at the Office of the Riigikogu has found €50,000 for salary advance. The agency cut costs on printed materials, trainings and representation expenses. The budget of the Riigikogu Toimetised parliamentary magazine was cut by €16,000, with the magazine issued once a year moving forward.
The Office of the Riigikogu employs 255 people who are paid on average 8 percent less than those holding similar positions elsewhere. Salaries of legislative drafting advisers and IT specialists fall 33 percent short of the average.
At the same time, we already know that the Office of the Riigikogu and other institutions are looking at further cuts in the coming years. The third reading of the 2022 state budget is scheduled for next Wednesday.