Finance Ministry puts price tag on election promises, top one: €4.4 billion

(Siim Lõvi/ERR)
2/17/2015 12:26 PM
Category: Politics

The Ministry of Finance has calculated the financial cost of planks in the platforms of each political party. The ministry said parties are too optimistic on economic growth predictions, many are promising changes which are already in the works and there are more promises in the social sphere than in other sectors.

The promises with the highest cost to the state budget came from the Conservative People's Party, which has promised to cut VAT to 10 percent – a move which would cost 4.4 billion euros over the next four years. On the other hand, the party has promised to increase income tax to 25 percent, which could partially compensate.

The Social Democrat plan to increase the average pension to 560 euros per month would cost 1.7 billion euros over four years and is the second most expensive promise.

The Center Party's plan to increase the tax-free minimum comes with a 1.4-billion-euro price tag.

Other notably expensive promises are the Free Party's plan to double the tax-free minimum (1.1 billion euros), IRL's plan to boost defense capability (940 million), Reform Party's tax-free minimum hike (532 million euros)

The majority of election promises could not be branded with a price tag as they were to general. The ministry also said only the direct cost of the promises were calculated, but not any possible impact on the economy, such as a boost to growth.

The Center Party has the smallest percentage of generalized promises or opinions, at 32 percent, followed by the Social Democrats (33 percent). The United Left Party was at the bottom of the list with 86 percent.

The percentage of specific actions was greatest for the Center Party, at 37 percent, followed by the Conservative People's Party (33 percent) and the Free Party (22 percent). The ground in between consisted of duplicated promises, free promises or ideas already in the works.

J.M. Laats

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