Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Centre) government has done away with any sort of predictability in taxes in Estonia, which is undermining businesses' courage to invest as well as consumer confidence, MEP Andrus Ansip (Reform/Renew) said at a conference in Tallinn on Friday.
"What forecast do you expect from officials at the Ministry of Finance when taxes are changed overnight? What precision can be achieved this way?" Ansip asked in remarks delivered at a conference on Estonia's state finances.
"When you raise the alcohol excise duty 70 percent in a single move, chaos will follow," he added.
According to Ansip, who served as prime minister from 2005-2014, reversing the increase in the alcohol excise duty is nearly the only sensible financial policy decision the current government, Ratas' second, has made.
"Given the robust way it was handled, it cannot be applauded either," he added. "If things continue to be done this way, the forecasters at the Ministry of Finance can simply be dismissed."
Ansip highlighted the results of a Eurobarometer survey according to which taxes have become one of the two most burning issues for the state in the opinion of Estonian residents.
"The format of the survey was such that one was asked to name the two most burning issues," he said. "Never before have respondents named taxes as the most burning issue. This has come to be under Jüri Ratas' government."
The predictability of taxes has been dismantled in Estonia, the MEP said. "It is difficult to understand what good have recent years' experiments with the state budget and taxes been," he said in conclusion. "Estonia has a management problem — and the name of that management problem is Jüri Ratas."
Editor: Aili Vahtla