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Estonian government to leave details of car tax up to the parliament

Kaja Kallas, with Lauri Läänemets in the background.
Kaja Kallas, with Lauri Läänemets in the background. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The government has agreed to allocate more funds for disability benefits in the car tax bill but will leave it up to the Riigikogu to hammer out the details of the tax plan, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and SDE chairman Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said.

"What we ended up with is that we'll send the bill to the Riigikogu and any changes can be discussed there if they are needed, but we'll at least get the ball rolling," Prime Minister Kallas told ERR Monday.

Läänemets also said that the debate should move to the parliament, adding that another €3 million could be added to €5 million meant to compensate the effect of Estonia's looming car tax on people with disabilities.

"Right now, we know that there will be more money, and we'll be able to see in the Riigikogu how to make it work in a way that would satisfy representatives of people with disabilities who really know what's needed," the Social Democratic Party leader and Estonia's interior minister said.

The politicians said that the parliament will also have to resolve the matter of how to temporarily remove vehicles from the register or suspend their registration as there is currently no agreement in the government.

"In the end, we realized that perhaps the finance minister (the Reform Party's Mart Võrklaev – ed.) has other things he needs to do since he hasn't achieved the compromise in the cabinet, and that we will hand this matter over to the experts in the Riigikogu – we believe the compromise will be found faster and better in the parliament," the interior minister added.

Võrklaev presented the government with the latest version of the car tax bill in late November, while the final text is stuck behind an agreement in the coalition. For example, Eesti 200 want exemptions put in for large families, people with disabilities and vehicles the registration of which has been temporarily suspended. The Social Democrats also want exemption for the latter two.

But the Reform Party is skeptical of car tax exemptions and would rather alleviate the new tax's effect by hiking disability benefits.

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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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