Second no-confidence vote against PM also fails
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas faced another vote of no confidence initiated by the Center Party on Monday evening, in addition to a confidence vote tied to the government's tax bill package. Rõivas survived both votes.
The second vote was initiated by 33 members of the factions of the Estonian Centre Party and the Estonian Conservative People's Party on Monday.
At the voting, a total of 59 MPs supported Rõivas, while 41 voted against him. The vote was personally against the PM, not against the Cabinet as the first vote, but his resignation would have brought down the entire government. Rõivas collected one vote more than the first no-confidence vote of the day as one coalition MP did not vote for the tax bills.
The Chairman of the Estonian Centre Party Faction Kadri Simson said that one of the reasons for expressing no confidence was the cluster bill on tax changes initiated by the Government and passed earlier in the day, which aims to raise the fuel excise duty rate, and the value added tax rate for accommodation providers.
The Center Party also collected more than 27,000 signatures against the bill.
"We believe that, as the head of the Government, the Prime Minister is responsible for the negative changes about to be made," Simson said.
PM Rõivas explained that shifting of tax burden from the taxation of workforce towards taxation of consumption will contribute to economic growth. "The less taxes we impose on the income earned with the hard work of the people, the better competition conditions we create for Estonia so that more jobs would be created here, the more domestic and foreign investments this policy brings to Estonia, the faster the economy can grow. Reducing the taxes on labour has a favourable impact on economic growth," he said.
"I totally understand that in short perspective people are not satisfied that the fuel excise duty will rise," he added. "But I consider it my duty to explain to people that all this is in the name of greater purposes, so that we could sustainably grow as an economy, that taxes on labor could be reduced in Estonia, that it would be possible to improve the subsistence of families with children, significantly increase the benefit for the third child, that it would be possible to support single pensioners and single parents through the single pensioners support measure, which we plan to implement from the year after the next, and also to establish the maintenance allowance fund for single parents," Rõivas said.