Estonia’s tax revenues increased by 7.3 pct in 2015

According to the Ministry of Finance, the state received revenues in the amount of 7.98 billion euros, which is 171.3 million euros more than last year. In comparison to 2014, the state tax revenues increased by 483.1 million euros or by 7.3 percent.

Expenditures increased by 7.2 percent up to 8.33 billion euros in comparison to last year. The highest increase, 23.8 percent, was in state investments. EU funds and other subsidies were used less than in the previous year, because the new period for using subsidies has not started in the extent it was expected.

“I would like to thank all the tax-payers, especially all the enterprises that provide jobs for Estonian people,” said Sven Sester, the Minister of Finance of Estonia. “The money in the state budget is the money of the taxpayers and the government uses it for the benefit of the entire Estonian society.”

“The government incurred expenses with the aim of improving Estonia’s security and the economic safety of our families. We ended the 2015 fiscal year with Estonia’s public finances in a good shape,” Sester added.

Tax revenues collected during the year made up about 90 percent of all the state revenues. The Estonian Tax and Customs board collected 7.13 billion euros in taxes, which is 483.1 million euros or 7.3 percent more than in the previous year. The growth was mostly due to the increased revenues from value added tax and social tax. As the largest revenue types of tax revenues, social tax was paid in the amount of 2.39 billion, value added tax in the amount of 1.86 billion and excise duties in the amount of 873.0 million euros. The highest revenue growth was in collecting value added tax (161.4 million euros or 9.5 percent) and social tax (160.4 million euros or 7.2 percent). Transferable taxes were collected in a total amount of 1.19 billion euros, which is 56.2 million euros or 5 percent more than in the previous year.

The total amount of non-tax revenues received by the end of the year was 852.2 million euros, which is 311.8 million euros less than the year before. This decrease was mainly caused by EU funds and other subsidies, whose use decreased by 42.3 percent within the year. During the year, goods and services were sold for 162.5 million euros and other revenues that were received amounted to 148.1 million euros.

8.33 billion euros was allocated for expenses, making the year’s increase of expenses 556.8 million euros. About a half of this increase or 256 million euros constituted  the payments for retirement, healthcare, unemployment insurance and other subsidies. In terms of expenditure types, 4 billion euros for subsidies, 2.54 billion euros for other operational expenditures and 1.44 billion euros for labour and management costs were paid last year.

Labour and management costs increased by 98.4 million euros or by 7.4 percent in comparison to the year 2014. 722.4 million euros were spent on labour costs with an annual increase of 6.9 percent. Management costs included 712.8 million euros or 7.8 percent more than in the previous year. Similarly to the two preceding years, labour and management costs for all types of expenditure were considerably larger for December than the average of previous months, exceeding the average expenditures of the year by 62.5 percent.

468.8 million euros was allocated for investments during the year which is 9.5 percent less than in the previous year. State agencies invested 337.3 million euros which is 23.8 percent more than in the previous year. Investment subsidies, however, were allocated to the extent of 131.6 million euros which is 114 million euros or 46.4 percent less than last year. The more modest figure in the use of investment subsidies is related to the smaller use of foreign financing in comparison to what was planned for the year 2015.

Foreign subsidies with advanced payments were allocated in the amount of 658.9 million euros or 65.5 percent of what was planned. A total of 14 677 projects were executed with EU financial backing in the 2007-2013 programming period. Estonia can use up to 4.4 billion euros of the allocated European Structural and Investment Funds and can apply for an additional 2 billion euros from different special programmes and direct aid funds for the entire on-going 2014-2020 financial period. 109.1 million euros has been paid as subsidies for the new period so far, including 68.6 million euros of structural aid and 40.3 million euros within the framework of the rural development programme. The difference between receipt and disbursement of foreign subsidies in the last year was 288 million euros which also affected the size of the liquidity reserve.

At the end of December, the State Treasury had 1.15 billion euros of liquid financial assets (deposits and bonds), which included 733.1 million euros in the Liquidity Fund and 398.5 million euros in the Stabilisation Fund. Compared to the end of 2014, the total size of liquid assets managed by the State Treasury decreased by 347.6 million euros or 23.3 percent. The size of the resources of the Ownership Reform Reserve fund increased by 5.3 million euros within the year, reaching 14.8 million euros.

By the end of November, the general government nominal budget surplus was 0.3 percent of the GDP or 53.1 million euros. The budget deficit of the central government was 44.8 million euros and the budget deficit of the health insurance fund amounted to 26.6 million euros. The budget of the unemployment insurance fund was in a surplus from the start of the year, growing throughout the period. The budgetary surplus of the unemployment insurance fund was 42.7 million euros at the end of November. The total sum of local government budgets was also in surplus, which constituted 81.8 million euros at the end of November.

Source: Press release by the Ministry of Finance

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