Reform party chair Kaja Kallas has stated that creating greater added value in business is key to boosting the Estonian economy.
Speaking at the party's extended board meeting on Saturday, 19 May, Ms. Kallas said that by doing this, higher wages would be viable as well as support for those in need.
"The strengths of Estonia are its finances, which used to be in order in a more timely manner, as well as a strong e-government. Unfortunately, both are experiencing a decline under the present government," Kallas said.
"There is a desire to dismantle fully -functioning systems like the pension system, and free public transport is being imposed on us by every means, even though what people really need is maintained roads and transport schedules,'' she went on.
According to Kallas, is also seems that the current government has not considered developing the digital state as a priority and has consequently neglected the issue.
"A low level of digitization of business and availability of permanent connections continues to be a weakness in Estonia. This means in turn that growth in productivity is undermined, that time and energy is spent on the process instead of the result. Time lost means money lost," Kallas said.
Ms. Kallas, who leads the largest opposition party in Estonian, said that there are several major challenges facing the Estonian economy as a whole.
"We are getting stuck in the average income trap. Our businesses do not stand out with products and services with higher value added, for which higher revenue could be obtained. And when there is no business with higher value added, it is not possible to pay higher wages and support those who need help," Kallas explained.
"When the Centre Party speaks about a pension increase, we should be speaking first and foremost about an increase in incomes more broadly, which can only come with economic growth," Kallas said. "All our steps should take us closer to an Estonia that is smart, prosperous, and not dependent on the support of others," she said.
Kallas added that Estonia should also move forward with state reform, by discussing what kind of state the country has the capability to maintain, as well as how to advance entrepreneurship and people's freedom of choice in different fields, including healthcare.
Kaja Kallas became leader of the Reform Party last month. She is an MEP and has previously sat in the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) as well as having worked as a lawyer.
Editor: Andrew Whyte