Coalition talks: Kallas offers Isamaa compromise on family benefits

Coalition negotiations started on June 13, 2022 between Reform, Isamaa and SDE.
Coalition negotiations started on June 13, 2022 between Reform, Isamaa and SDE. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Prime Minister and leader of the Reform Party Kaja Kallas says she has offered a compromise to Isamaa on the family benefits question, as part of the coalition negotiations between the two parties, along with the Social Democrats (SDE).

Kallas made the announcement Wednesday, day three of talks on forming a potential tripartite coalition, but added she was unable to elaborate on what form the compromise took.

Kallas said: "We have offered a compromise on family benefits, but I cannot go into it here. It is important that all parties try to make a compromise. We still have to work on that."

Isamaa's deputy chair Urmas Reinsalu says that his party believes that the reforms to the family benefits legislation – one of the main sticking points between Reform and Center ahead of the collapse of that coalition alignment nearly two weeks ago – should be in place from next year.

He said: "We have exchanged views on the matter. We have listened to partners, partners have listened to us, though we have not come to an agreement. We have tabled a proposal for the coalition to enforce the reform of the family benefits. The legal aspect concerns whether the law is practical. the place of choice."

SDE chair Lauri Läänemets said that income tax exemption in relation to the minimum wage was one area in focus, adding that this could rise, even as it is due to rise in 2023.

The issue of alleviating high prices for pensioners was also discussed, he said.

On the issue of mitigating the effects of soaring inflation, Kallas said: "There are many such needs and we need to look at what can actually be done, and where the money will come from to cover these costs."

Forestry development was also under discussion on Wednesday – Läänemets said that his party wanted to reduce felling volumes and adopt a forestry development plan. In the former case, Kallas said that there were some differences of opinion which needed to be returned to; in the latter, the three parties were in agreement, she said.

A working group on energy issues and involving all three parties is to convene this week and will discuss both the issue of security of supply and the issue of electricity market reform, Urmas Reinsalu said.

In the talks so far, the parties have differed on energy price compensation packages from next autumn, though on Monday Reform, SDE and Isamaa announced that they had found common ground on education.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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