Läänemets: No escaping asset, wealth taxes for Estonia in long run

Lauri Läänemets (SDE) at Vihula Manor on Thursday. September 14, 2023.
Lauri Läänemets (SDE) at Vihula Manor on Thursday. September 14, 2023. Source: Jürgen Randma/Government Office

Speaking to ERR during two days of state budget talks in Vihula on Thursday, Minister of the Interior and coalition Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair Lauri Läänemets said that in the future, there's likely no escaping asset taxes and taxes on wealthy people and businesses for Estonia.

According to Läänemets, no agreement has been reached yet on reducing the state budget deficit.

"Right now we're taking all possible utopian and less utopian versions apart piece by piece regarding how to resolve this situation, and then eventually you start to get a sense of something," he described. "I'm willing to bet this can easily take until tomorrow night to do."

The SDE leader said that as state budget expenses have been increased for years, but the revenues side hasn't been, then further tax changes will likely be needed in the future.

"In the long run certainly," he said. "I believe that asset taxes, taxes on wealthy, rich people or businesses — there's no escaping it for Estonia. That which you see elsewhere in the world — all of that is coming. A progressive income tax will soon appear to be the only solution at the table here."

He acknowledged, however, that no one beyond the Social Democrats is currently actually talking about a progressive income tax.

"But if we're talking taxes, then does anyone want to start introducing any new taxes?" Läänemets continued. "I'm saying it's ultimately possible to collect taxes from where money exists, and those with higher revenues have it. We're talking about very wealthy people, very big companies, likewise banks that have unexpectedly received massive interest incomes. These are those places. You can't take money from where there isn't any."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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