Tallink CEO: Quality of Riigikogu MPs reflects the modest salary

Paavo Nõgene on 'Otse uudistemajast'.
Paavo Nõgene on 'Otse uudistemajast'. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Until politicians and in particular Riigikogu members get paid better, only those content to work for the current levels will remain while those more competent people who would be attracted to the position by sufficient pay rates will remain out of the equation, Tallink CEO Paavo Nõegene says.

Nõgene is not a politician, though recently quit the Reform Party after 23 years as a member.

Appearing on Wednesday's edition of "Otse uudistemajast," Nõgene said: "This area is rated precisely in terms of money: The work that the prime minister and ministers actually have to do. The Riigikogu is another thing, but I am absolutely sure that if the salary the Riigikogu offers does not increase, its staffing situation will remain relatively similar," adding that salaries should thus rise, in order to attract the best and brightest.

Nõgene added that "populism" must not be allowed to create a situation where the wages of state leaders remain stagnant. "This actually preserves the jobs of those people who are willing to do this work for less," he went on.

The head of state, the head of government, and the head of the Supreme Court should all remain on the one pay grade level, Nõegene opined, putting that level at €10,000 per month.

This would allow MPs' salaries to be hiked to "a completely normal level," he added, though a differential between Riigikogu members and government ministers' wages would remain under his vision.

Government ministers in Estonia do not sit at the Riigikogu.

Current pay rates for senior officials in Estonia

As of April 1 this year, the President of the Republic of Estonia, the Prime Minister of Estonia and the Chair of the Supreme Court were all paid €8,318 per month gross.

The Riigikogu's two deputy speakers, the auditor general, the chancellor of justice, supreme court judges, prosecutor general, government ministers, Riigikogu committee chairs, Riigikogu chief whips and the state secretary are all paid €7,070 per month gross.

An MP's wage is currently €5,406 per month, which happens to be the same level as that of a county court or administrative court judge.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel

Source: 'Otse uudistemajast,' interviewer Indrek Kiisler.

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