EKRE: Victory of low-paid people in current tax reform an illusion

EKRE chairman Mart Helme at a party convention.
EKRE chairman Mart Helme at a party convention. Source: (ERR)

The council of the opposition Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) on Saturday approved a political statement in which the party says that the victory of low-paid people from the tax reform is an illusion.

"The government has turned on its head the income tax system which has been serving the people of Estonia for years. Simple and clear taxation of income has for years been a natural symbol of minimal bureaucracy in Estonia. As of the new year, Estonia will get a difficult progressive income tax, where middle class people are the ones to bear the heaviest tax burden," the statement said. "Talk about how low-paid people will get to keep a hold of a couple dozen euros more with the new tax system is an illusion. A large part of people in Estonia will have to pay additional income tax at the beginning of 2019. Wage growth is ostensible and will not bring along an increase in people's purchasing power. The money, which the people will get to keep, will be taken away with indirect taxes. Increasing excise duties will bring along general price growth."

"At that, increasing excise duties will not only attack the wallets of individuals, but will deliver a serious blow to the competitiveness of the state and entrepreneurship. The government rapidly increased the excise duty on fuel and alcohol, regardless of the fact that it will increase cross-border trade with Latvia and will drive small stores in South Estonia to extinction. Estonia's largest transport companies have long abandoned fueling up with diesel fuel in Estonia. The leftists' determined hostile policy against entrepreneurship will increase poverty and accelerate migration," EKRE said in its statement, adding that the government's tax policy is all the more incomprehensible as the Tax Board said that regardless of the higher tax rate, excise duty proceeds are lower than they were before tax hikes.

"The Tax Board also confirmed that the government has planned the tax proceeds of next year incorrectly, which means that the 2018 state budget is a bluff. The government is distributing nonexistent money at the expense of the future," the party said. "Ironically, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) is participating in realizing the economic policy destroying Estonia. The former implementer of a simple and understandable tax system and spokesperson for economic freedoms has become a follower of the Center Party and the Social Democrats and a promoter of leftist ideology. The deterioration of IRL -- as well as the party's dangerous defense policy -- is also highlighted by the fact that in order to be likable to their coalition partners, IRL was prepared to accept decreasing Estonia's defense spending by 10 million euros in the 2018 budget," the party said.

The council of EKRE said that the current government cannot be allowed to tax the people of Estonia into poverty in a socialist manner as this will first ruin the economy and then the whole people.

EKRE said that the first work year of the leftist government of Prime Minister Juri Ratas clearly indicates that the government should not be allowed at the helm of the state for much longer. According to the party, during the government's year in power a non-transparent decision-making culture has increased in Estonia, while overregulation and wastefully spending the money of the taxpayer have intensified. The party added that the decisions of the government will do verifiable damage to the Estonian economy.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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