Reform Party bringing bill to remove Tallinn kindergarten fees

Reform Party city government chair Kristen Michal.
Reform Party city government chair Kristen Michal. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Reform Party is drawing up a bill to remove kindergarten fees in Tallinn from next year.

A similar bill from the Social Democratic Party (SDE) group on Tallinn City Government was defeated by 39 votes to 16 last month, though education spokesperson from the dominant Centre Party, Märt Sults, has said that abolishing fees will happen sooner or later.

Chair of Reform's city government group Kristen Michal gave his rationale for the move, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Michal said that abolishing fees would save families with one child in kindergarten €854 per year, and those with two, €1,708 per year.

Reform says on average a kindergarten place costs just over €70 per month.

While removing fees would leave a gap of €6 million which would need to be found to keep the city's over 22,000 kindergarten places afloat, Michal said much of this could be found by removing what he called subscribing to propaganda such as RBK, broadcast from the Russian Federation, and winding up Tallinna TV completely. Tallinna TV, seen as the tool of the Centre Party, has stopped broadcasting, but still provides online content.

Another source of revenue savings would be in inefficient public-private partnerships, which could be renegotiated to find €2 million, Michal claimed.

If the bill were to pass a city government vote, the change would come into effect from Sept.

However, according to ERR's online news in Estonian, kindergarten costs for the whole of 2021 would mean €18 million would need to be found.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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