Solve migration issues quickly, move on to real problems (4)

Postimees/Scanpix
3/2/2016 3:01 PM
Category: Business

Chairman of the Estonian Employers’ Confederation Toomas Tamsar said in a speech at the organization’s 2016 Kite Fly conference that the state was wasting time on minor problems instead of dealing with the really pressing questions.

In Tamsar’s opinion, the issues related to the migration crisis and the refugee quota need to be solved quickly, so that real concerns can be addressed instead, like the fact that in the year 2040, the children born today will have to support two more people in addition to themselves.

Tamsar spoke on the topic of immigration at the Kite Fly 2016 conference on Tuesday. He stated that changes were happening at a very high speed, and that nobody had any idea which jobs would disappear and what would replace them.

“Changes are happening faster than we can follow,” Tamsar said. He added that most of the jobs currently around would be gone by 2040, when the children born now would enter the labor market.

To prepare for that, Tamsar said, it was necessary to think about how Estonia could become attractive to those who had the ability to create added value, and also those who could do the jobs that would emerge.

He pointed out that historically, Estonia had to be defended against intruders, with the objective to maintain the state and its culture. But that wasn’t what the current situation called for.

The children born last year would enter the labor market in 2040, Tamsar said. Currently a private sector employee had to keep up 1.6 people, then this would increase to 2, which meant that future taxpayers would have to support more people on average than today’s.

The state these children would inherit would be very expensive, Tamsar went on to say. He asked if such an expensive state was what we wanted to leave to our successors.

About the refugee crisis, Tamsar said that it wasn’t an Estonian problem, but that Estonia could certainly part of the solution. “Our labor market needs people, but we’re in a defensive stance."

“Let’s not waste energy on the migration crisis. Let’s solve these problems quickly and invest our time and energy in the solution of real problems,” Tamsar said.

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) spoke at the conference as well, saying that while everybody wanted more talent to come to Estonia, it seemed that everybody had agreed that there was a wall in the way.

Tamsar’s contribution sounded like the answer to the Prime Minister’s statement - namely that the governing parties had allowed others to define what the great challenges of the country really were, but that the real problem was demographics.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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