Center MP: Willingness to find compromise has increased each day

Jaanus Karilaid.
Jaanus Karilaid. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Center Party Riigikogu group chair Jaanus Karilaid said that while Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' (Reform) political statement on Tuesday was correct, it did not provide any solutions. For Center Party, it is important for people to see from their electricity bills how much the state supports them.

"I continued to only hear what we should do and that we will see, but we have repeatedly expressed that there should already be a supplemental budget tabled along with extensive support measures, this statement does not please the Center Party currently," Karilaid commented on the prime minister's political statement.

Karilaid told ERR that there was not a word about Center's tabled proposals and universal state aid measures. He added that the current proposed maximum stock exchange package price limit would mean €7-15 in compensation for each person, which is not enough. In total, that would cost the state €11.8 million.

"We have specifically talked about the volume of our package and that is €181 million and would require a supplemental budget," the Center Party Riigikogu group chair added. "But we have not seen our coalition partner state that they are prepared to do a supplemental budget, however."

Reform Party Riigikogu group chair Mart Võrklaev confirmed that Reform's support package would cost the state around €12 million and said the party wants to draw the package's resources from the state reserves in order to implement the measures fast.

"The idea is that we have a price ceiling, above which the state will provide aid and compensate some part of the price increase. There is a consumption limit set and it is around where 55 percent of Eesti Energia's clients are at," Võrklaev said.

The Reform MP said a large portion of consumers will be compensated fuly for consumption and some consumers will receive partial aid. The price ceiling would be €120 per megawatt-hour, Võrklaev said.

Additionally, Reform's proposals also contain an option to compensate all electricity network fees from January to March, which would mean an additional €32 million in costs.

Karilaid noted that capping prices can be helpful, but it should be done considerably more extensively. "If we look at it, then the Social Democratic Party's proposal sees compensation for 3000 kilowatt-hours," he said.

The Center representative thinks the current energy crisis is an anomaly, in which extraordinary measures must be implemented. "Looking at the dynamics of the last seven days, the willingness to find a compromise has improved each day, so let's wait for today to finish, too," Karilaid said.

Võrklaev also said Reform is prepared to continue discussions in the coalition council.

Former minister: Price ceilings are complicated and too bureaucratic

"Unfortunately, there were many long-term solutions, which are undoubtedly important and should be discussed, but the issue is here now and electricity bills are very high," former environment minister Tõnis Mölder (Center) said of Kallas' statement.

He added that while the current package of support measures through local municipality governments has justified itself, it is far too complicated and bureaucratic for people.

"If the person has an €80 electricity bill, then I would want to know how much the state is compensating me for - it is simple math, which every person can understand," Mölder said. "If there are ceilings, kilowatts, megawatts, terawatts, I think it gets too complicated for people."

Additionally, the former environment minister pointed out that capping electricity prices will not help in terms of gas and heating prices.

Tõnis Mölder. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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