On 23 December 2016, President Kersti Kaljulaid proclaimed the law on State Budget for 2017. For the Ministry of Culture, the priorities within the budget are the wage increase for culture professionals, investments as well as the long-awaited substantive policy reforms in the field of culture.
The size of the cultural budget for 2017 will be 217 million euros.
Worthy wages for culture professionals and the higher category coaches
The supporting document of cultural policy “The fundamentals of cultural policy until 2020“ confirms that competitive wages must be offered to culture professionals, in order to ensure that there will be the next generations of specialists in the future. According to the foundation document, the income of a culture professional with higher education who works in full-time position should reach the level of average wage in Estonia by 2020.
The intention is to treat the highest category coaches similarly to the culture professionals, so that their minimum wages will catch up with the culture professionals.
The wage fund of culture professionals with higher education will increase by 3.3% in 2017. It is intended to allocate 1.55 million euros for the wage increase. The government has therefore decided that culture, alongside teachers and workers in the fields of social welfare and internal security, is once again among the priorities of the state.
The increase in the wage fund, which has been decided by the government, would allow for the minimum wage to be increased to 942 euros.
The Ministry of Culture will find additional 1.1 million euros, in order to sustain motivation in the institutions and increase the wage fund of the employees providing support services.
This enables the following:
- 2 percent increase in the wage fund for those culture professionals with higher education whose income exceeds the level of minimum wage,
- 1 percent increase in the wage fund for the employees providing support services.
Specific distribution of the wage money between employees in the aforementioned two categories will be decided by the managers of institutions.
130,000 euros of the money received for the wage increase of culture professionals with higher education, which has been decided by the government, will be allocated to the national support fund for covering the labour costs of coaches who belong to the higher professional category (5th-7th professional category). In addition, the Government has already decided to ensure 352,000 euros for covering the labour costs of coaches, as the number of coaches who belong to the higher professional category is expected to increase approximately by 100 persons.
The increase in the wage fund will affect:
- those culture professionals who receive their wages from the state budget,
- the employees of state authorities, public institutions, foundations and county libraries, whose wages are paid by the state,
- those culture professionals who have a higher education degree, a higher level of professional qualifications or specific expertise that is equated to higher education.
Also this year - in 2016 - increase in the wage fund of culture professionals made it possible to increase the minimum wage of culture professionals by 13.5%, to 830 euros as a monthly wage. The national support fund for covering the labour costs of coaches who belong to the higher professional category grew by the same percentage.
Real estate investments. Possibility to create and be part of experience
The state will ensure the coping and social welfare of a creative person, and creates, in addition, modern possibilities to enjoy cultural experiences.
In 2017, the new or fully renovated theatre buildings of the Puppet Theatre and the Ugala Theatre will open their doors The citizens of Rakvere can go to the new cinema and rehearsal hall, inter alia, the constructions Narva theatre house (Vaba Lava) and the extensions of the Seaplane Harbour are underway. This year, replacement of the stage technology of the big building of the Vanemuine Theatre has started. The news building corresponding to modern needs will be opened in the old radio building of the Estonian Public Broadcasting.
The following objects are lying ahead.
Renovating the home of folk dancers – the Kalev Stadium
The Kalev Stadium in Tallinn is the home of folk dancers, the same way as the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) for singers. A long time ago, Ullo Toomi , one of the most renowned teachers of Estonian folk dance, talked about the stadium that should correspond to the needs of dancers - and now it will become reality.
The presumption of the state investment was an equal contribution by the City of Tallinn. A total of 14 million euros will be used to build new bleachers at the stadium for 15,000 people, to set up new communication networks and to create support facilities for dancers and athletes, which are currently non-existent. The renewed stadium will be the sport and culture facility that complies to international requirements and is used all year round for different purposes.
The home of Dance Festivals will have a new look by 2019, when the stadium will host the 20th Dance Festival and which marks the 150th anniversary of the first Song Festival.
Estonian Public Broadcasting – increasing technical capacity and creating economical spatial plan
Production infrastructure of the Estonian Public Broadcasting is depreciated and non-functional. The analysis made by the Estonian Public Broadcasting in cooperation with the Riigi Kinnisvara AS indicates that it would be practical to build new television studies equipped with modern technology to the existing plot of the Estonian Public Broadcasting.
The Government will address the development needs of the Estonian Public Broadcasting at the state budget discussions which will be held next spring.
In addition, the Estonian Public Broadcasting will receive a small operative broadcasting station (1 million euros), which is important, keeping in mind the Estonian Presidency in the EU Council.
Tehvandi Sports Centre Foundation – completion of the construction of Kääriku Sports Centre
From the perspective of public health, it is important to ensure regular physical activity. Modern environment would be beneficial both for the region and also the whole Estonia, because of the increase in tourism.
The purpose of the investment is to ensure sustainability of the sports centre (training and sports camp facilities, stadium, accommodation, communications, etc.).
The requested amount for 2017 is 1.8 million euros. Negotiations will continue during the discussions of state budget strategy next spring.
Estonian History Museum – renovation of Maarjamäe Castle Complex
Exposition will be completed and storage conditions will be created.
Construction of storage building. Construction of a new storage building did not constitute a part of the procurement contract that was concluded for the construction of Maarjamäe Castle Complex, construction of a film museum and fixing up the outdoor area. The new storage building will be home for the collections, which were previously stored at Maarjamäe Castle, because opening the whole castle as an enjoyable history centre makes it impossible to store the collections there.
The requested amount for 2017 is 1.4 million euros.
Increase in the construction price of exposition. The deficit in the exposition budget occurred, because as a result of the construction procurement, the construction of a film museum, fixing up the outdoor area and the construction of Maarjamäe Castle turned out to be more expensive than expected. In order to conclude a construction contract, money was taken from the budget that was planned for the exposition.
The requested amount for 2017 is 839,000 euros.
Support scheme for films FILM ESTONIA – involving attractive foreign capital in the economy
FILM ESTONIA is the support scheme for the production of films and series that is funded by foreign capital and supports inflow of attractive foreign capital to Estonia. Film industry creates valuable new jobs, because films are related to the rapid development of state-of-the-art technology.
Foreign producers are welcome to use Estonian film specialists, sets, and also our state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure for filming in Estonia. A part of the external investments made in Estonia by foreign producers and their expenditure on Estonian residents might be returned as an additional grant (20-30%). This is also an opportunity to offer work in several other sectors.
In 2016, the amount of the programme is 500,000 euros and this amount will be increased to 1 million euros by 2017.
The programme has started successfully: The balance of the fund for 2016 stood at circa 60,000 euros in August and nearly 1.5 million euros had reached Estonia in the form of taxes or as expenses incurred here. This year’s last call for proposals of Film Estonia will be held in the beginning of November. It is estimated that the increased volume of the support scheme for films (up to 1 million euros) should bring at least 3.3 million euros to Estonia.
Heritage Conservation Reform – the state is facing the owner
The protection of cultural objects is a constitutional task. Cultural heritage is an important part of Estonian history and it acts as a source of identity for each individual as well as for the state.
However, nearly a quarter of building monuments in Estonia are currently in a poor state or require emergency repairs. The main shortcoming of the heritage conservation field is that there is a considerable discrepancy in the extent of obligations of the owners of heritage objects and the obligations of the state in ensuring the conservation of monuments. This creates feelings of injustice and puts the conservation of heritage in danger.
In order to implement the draft legislation, the Ministry of Culture applied for additional funds in the sum of 2.1 million euros per year from the state budget. The burden on the state budget will be eased by income from other sectors (incl. construction, tourism, employment).
Discussions will continue during the negotiations of state budget strategy, which will be held next spring. The Ministry of Culture wants to enforce the Heritage Conservation Act in 2019.