Reform, Center discuss how to move forward with family benefits bill
The coalition parties, Reform and Center, will hold discussions today to find a solution to disagreements arising from the draft family benefits bill which seeks to increase payments by €300 million.
Reform is in favor of increasing benefits and wants time to discuss the bill proposed by Center, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) wrote in a blog post.
"The proposers also want to increase child benefits from February 2023 together with next year's budget. Therefore, our request is to take the time to have a proper discussion as the proposal requires almost €300 million a year, and the other half of the equation is about where to find the fixed costs from," she wrote.
"Fixed costs can be covered by cutting or eliminating some other fixed costs or by tax increases, fixed costs cannot be covered by a one-off loan. Tax increases require a wide public debate," she added.
The prime minister is also appealing to the opposition parties in the Riigikogu, Isamaa, EKRE and the Social Democrats, to allow discussions to take place. All three parties say they agree with increasing payments.
Kallas spoke with the Center party on Monday morning.
Last Thursday, Center proposed the bill and an introduction date of Midsummer, i.e. next month.
Rumors suggested the party would pull out of the coalition if the conditions were not met, but these were later denied by Center Party Chairman Jüri Ratas.
Last month, Estonia's inflation hit 19 percent and parties are seeking ways to assist families with rising bills.
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Editor: Helen Wright