Eesti 200 MP Marek Reinaas, who has been participating in the government's state budget negotiations Vihula, has confirmed that there will be no bank tax in Estonia. However, the current budget solution does stipulate that there will be some form of tax increase in the long term. What exactly this pertains to is still to be discussed during the negotiations.
"There is no bank tax and there will be no bank tax," Reinaas said, when commenting on the results of the negotiations in Vihula on Raadio 2's morning show. "The introduction of a bank tax is almost impossible in the Estonian legal framework, as it is simply not possible in Estonia to go after banks' profits," Reinaas explained.
Nevertheless, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) is set to meet representatives of Estonia's major banks on Tuesday to discuss a possible bank tax. Reinaas described the situation as fascinating, adding that he is unable to predict the outcome with any degree of certainty.
"We have to face the truth that banks have been making profits from the recent rise in the Euribor and have probably been siphoning money from society into their coffers. By the way, the current government has already raised the tax on banks, which will bring in about €70-80 million in next year's budget. Let these banks get on with it, maybe they will experience harder times ahead, then suddenly we will all be happy that they didn't lose out last time," Reinaas said.
Other than mentioning the much-discussed car tax, Reinaas was careful not to let slip details of any other potential taxes, which could end up being introduced to help boost the state budget going forward.
"In Vihula, a number of possible taxes were discussed, but the more important thing is that the government has decided to go ahead with a zero-based budget and personalized state solution, which means we ought to expect some tax increases in the future. However, above all we should be clear about where our money is being spent, and perhaps there are a whole lot of places where it should not be spent."
"At the moment there is a budget resolution on the table, which states that there will be a tax increase, however it does not specify which taxes will go up." The reason for this is very simple, Reinaas added, pointing out that in the spring the government faced criticism for coming up with different tax ideas without holding a debate on the issue.
"Now we have had a whole six months to discuss together as a society where it makes the most sense to raise more money from for the state budget."
Editor: Michael Cole