Paper: Whiff of outsourcing going on at ex-minister's PR firm ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Marko Pomerants.
Marko Pomerants. Source: Kadri Põlendik/ERR

Former minister Marko Pomerants' role at PR firm Powerhouse OÜ, run by another ex-minister, Janek Mäggi, allegedly sees him collecting his wages by billing through a private company, according to the tax board, rather than being on company payroll, even though he is apparently working full-time for the firm – a practice reportedly used by many who wish to avoid taxes.

"The honest answer is that I work there through a private company and do different projects," Marko Pomerants, who was environment minister April 2015- June 2017, representing Isamaa, told daily Postimees (link in Estonian) in response to their question, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

"What this will come to each month depends on how much [work] I can do," he added.

Pomerants provides his services via Bitter Orange OÜ, a company established last spring after the terms were agreed, though it is noteworthy, however, that while this was set up before joining Mäggi's firm, since November Pomerants has been devoted exclusively to Powerhouse.

As such, this is not prohibited by law, but it pertains to one of the most widespread problems tax authorities have been struggling with for years, namely the use of limited liability companies to conceal actual employment relationship for tax avoidance purposes, the newspaper notes.

Mäggi and Pomerants were recently joined at Powerhouse by former interior minister Andres Anvelt. Anvelt stepped down as minister in late 2018, citing health issues. Janek Mäggi was Minister of Public Administration May 2017-April 2018, representing the Centre Party. He left the party's board last autumn.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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