Government to discuss energy price compensation measures next week

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) at a government cabinet sitting.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) at a government cabinet sitting. Source: Government Office

The government will discuss different measures to compensate people for increased energy prices next week. Center Party has already presented their coalition partner Reform with a proposal to compensate electricity and gas bills for all consumers, but Reform would like to wait for more data before making a decision.

Earlier this week, Center Party proposed that the state could compensate all household consumers for 50 percent of their gas and electricity consumption and legal entities for the electricity network fee in full.

"Our proposal is to decrease the cost of electricity on electricity bills by half and to take the price of gas to €0.6 per cubic meter. This would affect private and household consumers. In addition, we would take the legal entities electricity network fees to zero," Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Taavi Aas (Center) told ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Thursday.

Center's proposal would be in effect from January to March and would cost the state an estimated €170 million, the party announced on Wednesday. Reform Party does not see this as a reasonable measure.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said compensation measures were already drawn up last October and applications have not even begun in all regions. "These measures could always be improved, but we need reference data to work out additional measures - who and how many people are not helped by the current measures and what the bottlenecks are. This measure was designed for 380,000 households, meaning 800,000 people. Estonia's population is 1.3 million," Kallas said.

The prime minister added that the government will begin discussing additional measures next week and that is when Reform will also present their proposals.

"We want these support measures to be directed and that is what we are working on. I am meeting with producers [on Thursday] to understand who is in trouble and who does not get enough from the current measures to be able to provide solutions, which would help us solve these bottlenecks," Kallas said.

Center Party chair and Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas told Kallas that she should gather the coalition council to discuss energy price support measures this weekend.

Ratas wrote on social media that supplemental measures should also be considered in addition to the existing ones. He said if discussions do not take place, neither can politics.

"Center would pleased if we could support people and companies in this energy crisis and fast. If these discussions take place next week, then Center will take part in them," Ratas told Thursday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

"We have spoken to Kaja Kallas and I have made a proposal to call the coalition council together this weekend and we are still specifying whether or not that will take place on Sunday," the Center chair added.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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