EKRE introduces economic plan: Borrow billions, reduce taxes

EKRE chairman Mart Helme, with son Martin Helme in the foreground, at the presentation of EKRE's economic programme. 3 October 2018. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Ahead of the 2019 Riigikogu elections next March, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is promising they would take out billions of euros in loans in order to reduce people's tax burdens as well as build more four-lane highways and a bridge to Saaremaa.

EKRE on Wednesday presented its economic programme for the upcoming elections, in which the party first and foremost intends to lower taxes and excise duties.

According to Martin Helme, chairman of EKRE's parliamentary group, the party's plan will ensure the growth of people's incomes and purchasing power and enable the financing of common benefits, spokespeople for EKRE said.

"We wish to lower the price of electricity in order to increase the amount of money left in people's possession as well as the competitiveness of the Estonian economy," Helme said. "Thanks to our economic plan, wages and pensions will increase. With our tax reductions, the average Estonian family will retain €70 more per month. That is €840 per year."

According to the economic plan, EKRE wishes to lower the value added tax (VAT) to 15% and extend the 9% discount rate to include the accommodation and catering fields, make medication, the special equipment for people with disabilities as well as electric cars exempt from VAT. The party also wishes to lower the excise duties on fuel and alcohol, reduce the excise duties on gas and electricity, lower electricity network fees and renewable energy fees, restore joint income tax returns for spouses as well as make pensions exempt from income tax.

The party also wishes to do away with road and vehicles taxes, launch a national construction program and build four-lane roads from Tallinn to Tartu, Pärnu and Narva as well as a bridge to the island of Saaremaa in eight years. EKRE is planning to fully develop a high-speed internet network to fully cover the country as well as terminate the Rail Baltica railway project on its currently planned route.

The party also wishes to establish tax incentives that would bring Estonian ships to register under the Estonian flag and tax the money of foreign companies, which until now has been moved out of Estonia tax-free. For companies, EKRE wishes to enable expenses in the amount of up to €6,000 per year without the fringe benefit tax and to introduce tax incentives for companies for evening out regional peculiarities.

EKRE wishes to impose a strict restriction on the import of labour in order to promote wage growth in Estonia and release from under the quota the fixed-term employment in Estonia of employees earning at least three times the average wage.

The party wishes to establish a national investment bank that would replace Kredex and Enterprise Estonia, ensure a reasonable loan environment for supporting small entrepreneurship and enable to finance national investment projects.

In cooperation with entrepreneurs, EKRE wishes to determine the 25 most expensive and bureaucratic laws or regulations and amend them in order to make the economic environment friendlier toward entrepreneurs.

Along with the self-employed entrepreneurship form, the party is planning to establish a simple business account system, which will enable a so-called one person company with an annual revenue of up to €40,000 to sell to both natural and legal persons and to which an even 20% income tax will apply. The account holder will receive health insurance if the monthly revenue exceeds the minimum wage.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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