Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev (Reform) on Thursday said he was surprised to hear President Alar Karis' criticism of the car tax and added he was welcome to speak to the government about such issues.
"If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. On so many other issues, this connection has been very close when needed. It's okay for us to communicate with each other and with the President's office," Võrklaev said at the weekly press conference.
On Thursday, President Alar Karis called efforts to introduce a car tax in Estonia confusing and said those behind it were unable to clearly define its purpose.
"Where are we today [on vehicle tax]? We are at the stage of drafting the law, which is where the responsible ministry comes up with the ideas and the objectives of how to do a vehicle tax. This is what the public debate is about, which we were accused of in the spring, that there is little or no tax. Now we have a public debate and it is confusing! If it's confusing, I wouldn't call it that. I would call it a multiplicity of ideas and listening to people. This will result in feedback that we can review and then come up with a draft, which in turn will go to coordination," said Võrklaev.
The minister said the government has repeatedly stated the reason for the tax is to reduce car usage and move towards more sustainable transport.
"Waste emissions from our transport sector are huge, and we are committed to reducing them. One of the measures is a vehicle tax to encourage people to use less powerful cars or to change the way they travel. In addition to all this scrapping," said Võrklaev.
He said the money is going to the state budget.
Editor: Mari Peegel, Helen Wright