Coalition Pushes Through Pension Deferral in Season's Final Parliament Sitting

The offices of Estonia's pension agency Photo: ERR
6/30/2014 11:09 AM
Category: Politics
The ruling parties have pushed through a pension initiative that was obstructed by former coalition partner IRL, linking the bill's passage to a vote of confidence in the Cabinet.

Had Parliament voted against it, the Cabinet would have had to resign. But with the Cabinet holding a comfortable majority backing, though, there wasn't much chance of that happening

The government used the tactic to slice through the filibustering tactics employed by IRL - 1,000 amendment proposals were submitted by the national conservative opposition party in the first reading.

IRL MP Helir-Valdor Seeder says he isn't happy with the coalition's actions on the issue, which he said set a negative precedent. "This is the first time that the government is taking the step of reducing pensions. It is doing so by repealing laws that were adopted during the last coalition," he told ERR radio.

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas countered that the existing pensions already in force will not be deferred. "What will be deferred is only the part that was planned to take effect in early 2015. It will now step into force in 2018."

The Cabinet made the decision to defer the parent's pension on May 29. It affects 226,992 people, who raised children at some point in their lives and now would not start drawing a pension supplement in 2015.

But the Cabinet also submitted proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act under which the tax-free line will rise next year from 144 euros to 154 euros a month. The tax-free line on pensions will rise from 210 to 220 euros.

Today's sitting, which started at 10:00, was a previously unscheduled one called immediately before the summer break.


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