Feature: Estonia's Riigikogu XV in numbers
Estonia's new government was sworn in today (April 17). ERR News looked at the data behind the new Riigikogu members, the government, and the coalition agreement.
This is the 15th (XV) Riigkogu (parliament) since Estonia regained independence in 1991 and the 53rd government since Estonia became independent in 1918.
Six parties form the government: Reform, EKRE, Center, Eesti 200, SDE and Isamaa.
There are 28 new MPs who have never worked in the Riigikogu before.
The oldest MP is 76-year-old Enn Eesmaa (Center), while the youngest is 26-year-old Kristo Enn Vaga (Reform).
Members of the Riigikogu are paid €5,406.82 per month. Some members — such as standing committee chairmen — earn more.
There are 101 members of the Riigikogu, 71 men and 30 women. This is a record number of women, beating 28 elected in the 14th (XIV) Riigikogu in 2019. See all the members of the Riigikogu here.
Three parties — Reform, Eesti 200 and SDE — make up the coalition and it has a 60-seat majority.
Kaja Kallas steps into the role of prime minister for the third time. This will be the ninth government led by the Reform Party since 1991.
The coalition has 13 ministers. Of these, seven are allocated to Reform and three each to SDE and Eesti 200. Read ERR News' guide here.
There are five women (38.5 percent) in and cabinet and eight men. In the last government, there were seven female ministers (46.5 percent) and eight male.
Seven ministers from the previous government feature in the new one.
The average age of coalition MPs is 46.5 years. The youngest and oldest members are both from Reform, Mart Võrklaev (38) and Kalle Laanet (57).
Two parties from the last three-party government are included in the new coalition.
Three members of the cabinet share the same last name Kallas. All three are members of different parties and are not related. Two members share the last name Riisalo.
Kaja Kallas wants the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition to last for the whole four-year election cycle. This would set a new record (no Estonian coalition has lasted the full four years in its starting composition). There were three coalitions during the last term.
The prime minister has a pre-tax salary of €8,318 per month.
Coalition agreement: What do we know so far?
It took 28 days, from the opening of negotiations to the signing, to create the coalition agreement.
The new government will raise income tax and VAT by 2 percent, from 20 percent to 22 percent.
A number of other taxes are also expected to rise and it is hoped a new car tax will generate €120 million a year for the budget. Fuel taxes are likely to rise too.
The coalition says cuts are needed to close the €1.7 billion budget deficit, which currently amounts to 4.3 percent of GDP.
Parties want to raise the minimum wage to 60 percent of the median wage (approximately €1,700) in the coming years. The minimum wage is €725 in 2023.
It has been suggested the tax-free exemption should increase to €700.
Defense spending will rise to 3 percent of GDP in the coming years.
According to the coalition agreement, the government has set itself the following six policy goals:
- Boosting security,
- Ensuring the sustainability of public financing,
- Implementing green reforms,
- Reducing regional stagnation,
- Reducing income inequality and extending people's average lifespan and the number of years they lead healthy lives,
- Developing the personalized state and ensuring high-quality education.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski