The ruling coalition — which consists of the Center Party, Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) — issued a statement on Friday in which they noted that there will be changes to joint tax returns but no deposit tax in its current form.
In a statement made by the three coalition party chairmen, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) confirmed that the coalition remained strong and would continue working together. "We have had serious discussions regarding the coalition agreement, many of which also had to do with the state budget," Ratas noted. "We have agreed on some things. First of all we have agreed that in joint tax returns, married couples will have a greater opportunity to file together.
"We have also agreed that there will be no deposit tax in its currently planned form," he continued. "It must be said here, however, that we have also agreed that sending profits earned in Estonia abroad tax-free cannot be acceptable and thus certain changes must be made in the legislation."
According to Ratas, the coalition partners are to continue negotiations on May 28.
SDE chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski confirmed that the the coalition is reaching fundamental agreements regarding joint returns and the deposit tax and now it is only a matter of finding the necessary resources for their financing.
"We have moved in a direction to reach a joint agreement," said IRL chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder. "Resources to cover these costs, which we will specify within the next week, will not be the imposition of any new taxes but rather cutting costs."
According to Seeder, likewise discussed on Friday the sugar tax and the packaging excise duty, but no agreement was reached regarding these matters. "We are waiting for the packaging excise duty to be reviewed — whether it can be annulled or changed in such a way that it would be more acceptable for business-owners," he explained. "This is a matter of discussion. All of these taxes were on the table today as well, but we did not reach an agreement regarding them. We will continue with negotiations next Sunday."
Ratas: No changes to tax-free minimum increase, strategic investments
The prime minister confirmed that no topics have been discarded from the discussion, however there are some regarding which which all three coalition partners understood that no changes would be made. For example, according to Ratas, no changes would be made regarding the increase in tax-free minimum income or regarding strategic investments. "Healthcare, teachers' wages, agriculture, reform of the basic exemption — including strategic investments — are important," he commented.
Ossinovki said that the sugar tax was likewise on the table on Friday and should a financial agreement that satisfies all sides be reached, changes to it may continue to be discussed.
The three ruling parties met at Stenbock House at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
Prior to the meeting, Seeder, who was elected chairman of IRL last week, told ERR's online news portal that he did not support the tax package that had been sent to the Riigikogu and expressed hope that the coalition parties could reach an alternative solution regarding the package before its second reading in the Riigikogu.
Editor: Aili Vahtla