Ministry wants additional €150 million a year to improve welfare system

Minister of social affairs Tanel Kiik (Center).
Minister of social affairs Tanel Kiik (Center). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Ministry of Social Affairs is looking for ways to improve the accessibility of care services. The arrangement of the long-term care system requires an additional €150 million a year.

Social affairs minister Tanel Kiik (Center) said that it´s very important to provide people with more necessary services at home because it is more comfortable to spend old age at home and besides, it´s cheaper for the country and municipality. As for now, the caretakers are not satisfied with the choice and accessibility of the services. For many, the maintenance load is so heavy that because of helping their family members, they are not able to go to work. 

According to the board member of the Europe association working for carers Ivari Paimre, we should already have home services, personal caretaker service and support person service. "It´s main emphasis is to support independent coping and it would offer relief and free time to spend with loved ones," Paimre said.

According to Tanel Kiik, it´s a serious concern and if there´s not going to be a change, the number of these people will increase.

To solve the funding problem, the ministry of social affairs has said reported that besides state support and funds from the EU, the government has discussed tax exemption for employers.

"If they decide to pay for their employees or the family members of the parents of their employees, to they had a right to do it without paying social and income tax," Tanel Kiik told ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera".

In addition, at the cabinet meeting last week, the government discussed that the nursing home fee should be deducted from the income tax refund.

"It could also mean that the carer with a heavy maintenance load, who haven´t been in the labor market for a while, wouldn´t  benefit from this measure," Paimre noted.

These suggestions will be analyzed by the Ministry of Finance. 

"Today, statistically, family members have a share of 80 percent for such nursing home services. While only 20 percent are covered by the local government, the rest is spent on the family and the individual who needs it. Unfortunately, this proportion has gradually increased," the social affairs minister Kiik said

Kiik said that a solution to determine the proportion of the own contribution is being sought.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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