The 2023 budget will bring certainty for residents with special needs and people with financial difficulties
Of the total operating expenditure in Tallinn's 2023 budget, social welfare and health will account for 10.9 percent, or €97.7 million. The main objective is to ensure the availability of needs-based social welfare services, the well-being of families with children, the elderly and people with special needs, and to assist citizens in difficulty. More consideration will be brought to mental health care.According to Deputy Mayor Metina Beškina the 2023 budget takes into account the needs of residents in difficulties. "In 2023, we will find the means to increase the budgets for personal assistance and social transport services, as well as the necessary budget for support services for children with special needs. We are also taking into account that next year we will be able to pay more allowances to people and families in difficulties," said Beškina. "We will also focus on improving access to mental health care."
The total cost of the personal assistance service for next year is planned at €1.1 million, which is over €300 000 more than this year, due to an increase in the number of people with high needs due to the raise of expenses of the service. To ensure the current level of support services for children with special needs, Tallinn has budgeted €3.2 million for the new year.
"The development and delivery of support services for children with special needs will be supported by the European Social Fund until the end of 2022. As the state has not found a way to further support the provision of the service from 2023 onwards, local authorities will have to take over the full cost of the service in order to maintain it. Therefore, Tallinn will increase the budget for the service by almost €1 million from the city's budget, which will make it possible to maintain the service at least at the same level as in 2021 and 2022," said Deputy Mayor Beškina.
The budget for the social transport service will increase to €2.9 million, due to the increase in fuel prices, the number of beneficiaries and the need for the service. More than €700,000 is planned for income-related support in 2023, an increase of €250,000 compared to this year. The target groups of the allowance are children, working-age people and people who are of retirement age within the meaning of the National Pension Insurance Act, and who are experiencing temporary economic hardship. The allowance is paid to cover all or parts of various costs, such as medical expenses, the cost of medical aid, the cost of recreational and sporting activities for children, and other unforeseen costs. The annual pension supplement for pensioners in Tallinn will rise from €150 to €175 next year, taking into account the rapid increase in prices, which will mean an additional cost of €2.3 million for the annual budget. The financial support for the beginning of the academic year for pupils from the second grade onwards will rise from €50 to €75 next year in a difficult economic climate, adding nearly €1.2 million to the budget.
In 2023, the Tallinn Mental Health Centre will start providing mental health nursing services, and the aim is to ensure better access to psychiatrists in different institutions.
Total investment in the social welfare sector is planned to amount to €6.8 million, the largest of which is the construction of the social housing unit at 48b Punane Street. The budget for 2023 is €3 million, the total project cost is over €9 million. Construction of the building will start next year and the unit will be completed in 2025. The three-storey social housing unit will have the capacity to accommodate 75 people and will also include rooms for disabled people. The building will also house a day center open seven days a week and a soup kitchen. The target group will be adults in need of support in their daily living.
Another important investment is the construction of a new building for the Käo Support Centre. The total cost of the project is around €5.8 million, €500 000 of which is given for next year. The Käo Support Centre will provide social services to children and adults with severe or profound intellectual and learning disabilities.The plan is to demolish the current building and build a more modern one with the necessary adaptations to provide the best healthcare service. An extension to the hall of the Käo Support Centre building at Käo Street will cost around €760 000, for a total project cost of nearly €1.2 million. The hall extension will create more opportunities for therapy and learning activities and will also provide better access for people in wheelchairs and with reduced mobility. The hall extension will also allow for outdoor activities in the fresh air thanks to a terrace designed in conjunction with the hall. The courtyard lighting will be improved thanks to the lighting solution designed with the hall extension.
Next year, work will start on the attic of the Tallinn Family Centre (11 Asula Street) to extend the availability of services and improve the overall condition of the building. The total cost of the project is €2.7 million, of which €500 000 is budgeted for 2023.
On 23 November, the Tallinn City Government sent to the Tallinn City Council the 2023 city budget with a total volume of 1.14 billion euros, which is €66.5 million, or 6.2% more than in the 2022 budget. The 2023 budget for the city of Tallinn includes €902.1 million for operating expenditure, 8.8% more than the 2022 revised budget. For investments, the draft budget foresees €217.6 million in 2023, which is 4.7% less than the 2022 revised budget.