Prime minister: Growing income inequality shouldn’t be carried over into retirement ({{commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) at his party's council meeting, Jan. 28, 2017.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) at his party's council meeting, Jan. 28, 2017. Source: (ERR)

The Center Party met for a council meeting on Saturday. At the meeting, the party’s chairman, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, said that the government’s pension reform was to be used as a means to reduce inequality in the Estonian society, and that its aim was to guarantee old-age pensions that would allow people to live out their retirement in dignity.

“The state has to value each resident highly, irrespective of their job and wage. The large income inequality should not be carried over into retirement,” Ratas said. “We want to make the pension system more flexible and solidary to better answer to people’s needs and expectations. To us, it is important to make one year of employment equal to one pension year in the first pillar of the pension system,” the prime minister said, adding that in the second and third pillars, how much a person earned would still influence the pension eventually paid out.

According to Ratas, in the future people will also be able to choose their retirement age, have the possibility to only receive a part of their pension, and to suspend and later continue payments if necessary.

Ratas: Expectation that we will rise to become one of Europe’s top richest nations soon is self-delusion

The prime minister also pointed out that in terms of wealth, Estonia is currently a third below the European average, and the talk of soon becoming one of the richest countries in Europe was self-delusion.

“We have to do our best to jump-start the economy again. If we can’t get our economy to work, we won’t achieve pay raises or pension growth,” Ratas said. “Let’s not delude ourselves with slogans that say that Estonia is about the become the richest country in Europe—we are a third below the European average,” Ratas said.

“We knew that the situation was bad when we took over the government. Unfortunately, it has to be said that the reality is even worse than it initially seemed. Estonia’s economic growth has been very slow in recent years, and many households haven’t yet recovered from the previous economic crisis,” the prime minister added.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

Render of the planned pulp mill.

Tartu wants planning procedure for billion-euro pulp mill terminated

The city submitted a request to the government on Monday to terminate the procedure for a national designated spatial plan for the much-criticized Est-For pulp mill. The investment company wants to built the plant somewhere along the Emajõgi river, which according to the Tartu city council would seriously affect the city's economy and quality of life.

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