Lion’s share of parties’ annual income taxpayer’s money ({{commentsTotal}})

The parties in the Riigikogu.
The parties in the Riigikogu. Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

Membership fees make up just a very small part of the income of Estonia’s political parties, a look at the business register and last year’s annual reports shows.

The Center Party with its 14,672 members collected membership fees of €60,309 last year, or €4.10 per member on average.

The Social Democrats at 6,014 members made it to €26,212, or €4.40 per member.

The Reform Party reported an income out of membership fees of €16,560. Considering its 12,446 members, that’s just €1.30 per member on average.

The Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) collected €9,880 in fees. Considering it has 8,100 members, that is €1.20 per member on average.

The Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) collected €8.805 at 9,215 members, about 96 cents on average.

The Free Party, with 685 members, collected €7,934, or €11.60 per member.

At the same time, the parties’ income was vastly bigger than that. Direct subsidies paid to parties in parliament amounted to more than €5.4 million in 2016, distributed proportionally according to the number of mandates of any one party in parliament.

The Reform Party received €1.6 million in taxpayers’ money. The Center Party received €1.44 million. The Social Democrats received €803,863, IRL received €750,272, the Free Party €428,727, and EKRE €375,136.

Editor: Dario Cavegn