Tax changes to be tied to four separate confidence votes

Mart Võrklaev.
Mart Võrklaev. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev (Reform) said that the government's four planned tax changes will be processed separately in the Riigikogu, with each amendment tied to a separate vote of confidence in the government to avoid filibustering.

"The government has decided to grant the opposition's wish of having four separate bills for these changes. The first reading saw a proper debate in the parliament, with all four bills treated separately. We will continue with four separate bills and four confidence votes, four separate discussions for draft legislation," the finance minister said, pointing to the ruling coalition's plan of hiking the income tax and VAT rates, excise duties on alcohol and tobacco, as well as the gambling tax rate.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that the coalition is heading into two difficult weeks. "We have agreed on a plan of action in the coalition. We are forced to tie these bills to votes of confidence in the cabinet, while we will be processing them according to the law," the PM commented.

If the government initially planned to hike the VAT rate for accommodation providers from 9 percent to 22 percent, the coalition is expected to present a softer compromise proposal instead on Monday.

"The government has listened to and met with people, so have Riigikogu groups and individual MPs. There will be certain changes, while the details will become clear Monday after they are approved by the government," Võrklaev said Sunday.

Kallas said at the Reform Party's Sunday general assembly that the current government has been in office for 55 days, and while it is a tradition in Estonia to give new governments 100 days free of criticism, hers has gotten none.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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